Mininotebooks Salvage PC Volume, But Take A Toll On Shipment Value, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – September 16, 2009 – Worldwide PC shipments fell 2.4% year on year in the second quarter of 2009 (2Q09), while shipment value was down 19.1% over the same period, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Consumer portables were the only area of growth, with shipments increasing 44% from a year ago – rebounding from a low of 28% growth and approaching the 44-55% range of 2007 and 2008. However, commercial portables growth remained depressed at –16%, and desktop volumes declined 17% as businesses limited spending and the market continued its shift to portable PCs. Within consumer portables, traditional notebooks recovered to 13% year-on-year growth from almost no growth in the first quarter, but shipment value was down 6%. The mininotebook share of consumer portables was up to almost 26% from just 5% a year ago. With mininotebooks averaging just over $400 each, compared to more than $900 for traditional notebooks, this shift is taking a toll on shipment value.

Going forward, the market should stabilize a bit for both units and value. Desktop volume will be roughly flat in 2010, while portable PC growth of 16.5% in 2010 will drive overall volume gains. Mininotebooks will continue to grow, but the introduction of CULV-based systems should limit the share captured by mininotebooks – and the resulting price erosion. IDC expects portable PC shipments to increase at an average rate of over 17% through 2013 (compound annual growth rate 2009-2013), driving more than 11% average growth in total PC shipments and almost 5% in shipment value.

"Although mininotebooks have hurt margins of traditional notebooks, we can expect Ultrathin Notebooks based on new low voltage processors from Intel and AMD to somewhat stem the tide," said Jay Chou, research analyst, IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. "By integrating portability, longer battery life, and better multimedia specs and performance, the growth of these Ultra Thin-n-Light systems could give mininotebooks and traditional premium ultra portables a run for their money."

“While we expect mininotebook share and growth to stabilize with greater competition from traditional notebooks, the stakes are enormous,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. “Buyers need to be willing to pay a premium for more robust systems, which may be a challenge in tight economic times and in an era of ‘good enough’ computing. On the other hand, not everyone wants an entry-level system, and rising commercial spending should boost demand for traditional notebooks. After all, even prices on traditional notebooks are falling, and device cost needs to be balanced with the device capabilities, resulting productivity, and total cost of ownership including maintenance costs.”

PC Shipments By Region And Form Factor, 2008-2013

(Shipments in millions)

Region Form Factor 2008 2009* 2010* 2011* 2012* 2013*

USA Desktop PC 31.4 26.6 25.6 25.1 24.8 24.5

Portable PC 34.1 39.5 44.5 52.0 58.7 62.9

Total PC 65.5 66.1 70.1 77.1 83.4 87.4

International Desktop PC 113.5 97.6 98.1 101.2 104.2 106.1

Portable PC 108.4 120.4 141.7 172.1 204.3 238.6

Total PC 221.9 218.0 239.8 273.3 308.5 344.7

Worldwide Desktop PC 144.9 124.2 123.7 126.4 129.0 130.6

Portable PC 142.5 159.9 186.2 224.1 262.9 301.5

Total PC 287.4 284.1 309.9 350.4 391.9 432.1

* Forecast data

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, September 2009

PC Shipment Growth By Region And Form Factor, 2008-2013

Region Form Factor 2008 2009* 2010* 2011* 2012* 2013*

USA Desktop PC -8.3% -15.2% -3.7% -2.0% -1.4% -1.1%

Portable PC 13.6% 15.8% 12.6% 16.9% 12.8% 7.3%

Total PC 1.9% 0.9% 6.1% 10.0% 8.2% 4.8%

International Desktop PC -4.9% -14.0% 0.5% 3.2% 2.9% 1.8%

Portable PC 39.2% 11.0% 17.8% 21.4% 18.7% 16.8%

Total PC 12.5% -1.8% 10.0% 14.0% 12.9% 11.7%

Worldwide Desktop PC -5.6% -14.3% -0.4% 2.1% 2.1% 1.3%

Portable PC 32.1% 12.2% 16.5% 20.3% 17.3% 14.7%

Total PC 9.9% -1.2% 9.1% 13.1% 11.8% 10.3%

* Forecast data

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, September 2009

Taxonomy Note: PCs include Desktop, Notebook, Ultra Portable, and Mini Notebook PC and do not include handhelds.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker gathers PC market data in 80 countries by vendor, form factor, brand, processor brand and speed, sales channel and user segment. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis as well as price band and installed base data.

For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com.