If there was any doubt that notebooks are becoming the preferred computing platform of choice, then let DisplaySearch's Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report set the record straight. DisplaySearch reports that the worldwide notebook computer market saw a 35 percent growth in shipments from the first quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2008. Compare that against an increase of just 12.1 percent for overall worldwide PC shipments (both desktop and laptops) for the same time period, as reported by iSuppli.
HP holds the top market share spot with almost 21 percent of all notebooks shipped in the last year: "HP remained #1 in the notebook PC market for the seventh consecutive quarter, maintaining an almost 2 million-unit lead over #2 Dell." Dell's notebook market share represents just over 15 percent of shipped notebooks.
Asus saw the largest year-to-year jump in notebook shipments, shipping 67 percent more notebooks in the first quarter of 2008 than it did the same time last year--now giving Asus 4.3 percent of the worldwide notebook market. Right behind Asus in growth is Apple, which shipped 61 percent more notebooks in 2008's Q1 than it did in Q1 2007. According to DisplaySearch, this gives Apple 4.6 percent of the notebook market--ahead of both Asus and Sony.
Perhaps most mind-blowing, however, is the growth in small form-factor notebooks, such as UMPCs:
"In the emerging and fast-growing Mini-Note PC market (the class of devices with displays from 4.5" to 10.2" like the Asus Eee PC, Acer Aspire One or HP 2133 Mini-Note), Y/Y growth was an astonishing 3056% and Q/Q growth was more than 70%. Although these products have been on the market for many years--with products such as Fujitsu's Lifebook U810 or OQO's O2--the market began to grow substantially when Asus introduced their Eee PC late in 2007. The low price point and basic feature set has made these devices attractive to many customers."
Yes, 3,056 percent--that is not a typo.
"The Mini-Note PC market is growing incredibly fast, but it is still in its infancy. Although the form factors are small and the features are limited, very aggressive price points for many of these devices are helping to drive growth. It remains to be seen if this market will maintain the astonishing growth of the past few quarters. DisplaySearch does not believe that these products will cannibalize the larger (greater than 10.4") notebook PC market, but will instead add to the market and perhaps even encourage up-sells to larger notebook PCs when users begin to require more powerful, full-featured machines," said John Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research at DisplaySearch."
Tallying the numbers, over 31 million notebooks shipped last quarter; versus just over 23 million this time last year. Doing some creative extrapolation, we estimate that by the end of this year enough laptops will have shipped in 2008 to be put in the hands of roughly two percent of the world's population.