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Global notebook sales officially overtake desktops

by Scott Bicheno on 24 December 2008, 10:14

Tags: Acer (TPE:2353), iSuppli

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The age of the notebook

The news announced by market researcher iSuppli yesterday will come as no surprise to anyone with even a passing industry in the PC industry: the number of notebooks shipped globally in Q3 exceeded the number of desktops.

This essentially sets the seal on a trend everyone has been aware of for some time, but what remains unanswered is how far it will continue and how big a share of the overall notebook market will be taken by netbooks.

The global notebook shipment number was 38.6 million units, which was 40 percent up year-on-year (YOY). Conversely the desktop figure of 38.5 million units was 1.3 percent down. This illustrates that the trend is less down to the decline in demand for desktops than it is a booming notebook market.

"Momentum has been building in the notebook market for some time, so it's not a complete surprise that shipments have surpassed those of desktops," conceded Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli.

This notebook frenzy, occurring as it did in spite of Bankageddon and the subsequent recession, led to an even better quarter for the PC than iSuppli had forecast. Overall PC shipments were up 15.4 percent YOY compared to a forecast of 12 percent.