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Notebook shipment growth raised to 5% in Q4: Barclays

TAIPEI -- Global notebook computer shipments from top-tier manufacturers are forecast to grow higher than expected in the fourth quarter as the corporate market becomes increasingly active, according to new research from British banking group Barclays Plc.

The bank now expects notebook shipments in the October-December quarter to rise 5 percent from the past three months to 37.5 million units, compared with prior expectations of a 2 percent growth.

The top-tier contract notebook makers are all Taiwanese companies, including Quanta Computer Inc., Compal Electronics Inc., Wistron Corp., Inventec Corp. and Pegatron Corp.

The revision came after November notebook shipments showed better-than-expected growth of 14 percent, driven mostly by orders of business models from U.S. PC brands, such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc., Barclays said.

However, the bank warned that it still believes Microsoft Corp.'s upgraded Windows 8.1 software will not help consumer market demand, while contract notebook makers are still experiencing soft demand as consumers shift their interests to new mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Among Asian PC stocks, Barclays recommended China's Lenovo Group Ltd. for its expansion into new mobile business, as well as Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. due to its creative notebook models, such as 2-in-1 devices.

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