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Global notebook shipments to drop 1-2% in '14: WitsView

TAIPEI--The global notebook market will continue to contract next year, although in a much gentler decline range,according to a forecast by Taipei-based market intelligence firm WitsView.

The notebook shipments are projected to fall by 10 percent year-on-year to 167 million units in 2014 because of the stagnant global economy and a slowing adoption of touch products, WitsView said.

The global shipments, however, will decline by only 1 percent to 2 percent in 2014 and will return to positive growth of 2.8 percent in 2015 and 3.6 percent in 2016, the research company predicted.

“Consumers will remain hesitant next year to decide whether they should buy a tablet-notebook hybrid device or a traditional notebook plus a tablet,” WitsView analyst Chen Hung-yen said in the report.

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft Corp. or Intel Corp. will launch new subsidy strategies for their manufacturing partners to help reduce prices of touch notebooks, as Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. has benefited from a decision by Microsoft to launch its 10.1 inchTransformer Book T100 for as low as US$349, Chen said.

Moreover, she noted that 2014 will be a critical year for AcerInc.'s reorganization because the Taiwanese company is lagging behind its rivals in the tablet and smartphone markets.

According to WitsView estimates, Acer's notebook shipments will decline by 27 percent to 30 percent year-on-year to between 17 million and 18 million units, losing its position as the world's third-largest PC maker by market share.

Research firm Gartner Inc. said in October that worldwide shipments of traditional PCs, including desktop and notebook computers, are forecast to total 303 million units in 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from 2012.

The figure is expected to fall further to 282 million units in 2014, representing a 7 percent drop from this year, Gartner datashows.

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