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Global wide-aspect laptop shipments hit 79%

Posted: 27 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DisplaySearch? PC? notebook PC? laptops? notebook PCs?

Wide-aspect laptop shipments in the third quarter cornered a 79 percent share, with standard 4:3 ratio for only 21 percent share, according to DisplaySearch's latest Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report. There are noticeable regional variations however.

Wide-aspect penetration in North America was over 85 percent, but only 52 percent in Japan. The report accounted the disparity to the lingering preference of the Japan market for 1024 x 768 (XGA), 1400 x 1050 (SXGA+), and 1600 x 1200 (UXGA) resolution laptops, especially 15-inch models.

According to DisplaySearch, North America, which had 40.5 percent share of the worldwide notebook market, had approximately 25 percent share of the world's standard-aspect ratio notebooks. Meanwhile, Japan only has less than 10 percent of worldwide laptop share in the third quarter, but the market accounted for over 21 percent share of worldwide standard-aspect ratio notebook shipments.

Regional differences
DisplaySearch predicted that these regional differences in the penetration of wide-aspect laptops will not last much longer. Panel makers are actively scaling back output of standard-aspect laptop panels after three quarters of lackluster financial results, and where possible, exiting these markets entirely due to better efficiencies and cost structure for wide panels. As volumes and the supply base for standard panels continues to decline, prices that are currently at relative parity with comparable wide-aspect panels will command a premium as they become niche products and fewer suppliers become available.

Market players
Among the top five laptop brands which include HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba and Lenovo, the share of wide and standard aspect models shipped varied widely in the third quarter.

"Differences in the penetration of wide aspect ratio notebooks for each brand are dependant upon a number of factors," said John Jacobs, director of notebook market research at DisplaySearch. "For a long time, many brands promoted wide as a differentiating factor, and charged a premium for these products, even after panel prices between comparable wide and standard-aspect panels disappeared. Brands that were hungry for market share were quick to drop the street price premium, even running "free upgrade" promotions encouraging customers to make the transition. Additionally, brands with a heavier reliance on the enterprise market faced the additional hurdle of convincing IT managers to embrace wide products and support additional configurations."

HP does not separate Greater China and Japan from the Asia Pacific, and groups all three together (Click to see full image)

HP overtook Dell at the top spot in global notebook shipments with 36 percent quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) growth, which, according to the report, is twice the q-o-q growth rate for the laptop market as a whole. Dell's growth was significantly slower than the industry average. Acer was another standout, posting substantially larger than average q-o-q growth, edging past Toshiba to re-take the third-ranked spot.

Click to see full image

For the fourth quarter, DisplaySearch expects wide-aspect products to continue to dominate the market. Consumers, who prefer wide to standard-aspect laptops, tend to make up a larger percentage of buyers in the latter months of the year, while enterprises are typically cutting back IT purchases at this time.

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