According to Taiwan's MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, due to global economic situation, the worldwide PC shipment volume in 2012 is projected to reach 322 million units, witnessing a 1.1% decline when compared to 2011. In particular, notebook PC shipment volume is anticipated to see a 0.8% year on year decline to only 194 million units. Regarding the development of new computing products, thanks to the rollouts of new product models and operating systems, worldwide tablet shipment volume in 2012 is projected to score a 67% year-on-year growth to 123 million units. Although the growth momentum of tablet shipment is anticipated to slow in the future, it is expected that tablet will remain one of major growth drivers in the mobile computing device market.
In 2012, global notebook PC shipment volume is expected to decline due to ongoing global economic uncertainties. In addition, impacted by the replacement demand of notebook PC for tablets, notebook PC market performance has been falling behind expectations. As regards to product specifications, although notebook PC development continues to focus mainly on light-weight and slim design, whether slim products such as Ultrabooks can stand out will depend on whether the production costs can be reduced as anticipated.
With sales of tablets remaining buoyant, branded vendors such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon joined the bandwagon to launch their own tablet products. In addition, fueled by the market demand for white-box products in Mainland China, the global tablet market is anticipated to sustain high growth momentum in 2012 and onwards.
Looking at the PC market in 2013, the global economic uncertainties will remain to be a major factor to affect the PC market development. Although the signs of revival are not yet evident, it seems unlikely that the global economy will do much worse. Therefore it is expected that the global PC market volume will see only mild fluctuations. According to MIC, the global PC market volume will inch up 3% year-on-year in 2013 to around 332 million units. Regarding the development of notebook PCs, due to the price reduction of Ultrabooks and the market demand generated from the launch of Windows 8 operating system, global notebook PC shipment growth is projected to regain slightly. Consequently, global notebook PC market volume will reach around 205 million units in 2013, up 5.9% year-on-year.
As for the development of global tablets market, due to a proliferation of new tablet models launched by major branded vendors and the emergence of positive effect following the launch of Microsoft's new OS Windows 8/Windows RT, consumer demand for tablets is expected to increase. MIC predicts that global tablet PC market volume will reach around 170 million units in 2013, scoring a 39% year-on-year growth.
On the industry aspect, Microsoft's new operating system Windows 8/Windows RT is slated for launch by the end of 2012. These Windows 8/Windows RT products are anticipated to have their toll on the conventional PC and tablet industries. By redesigning its operating system based on touch control technology and optimizing its renowned Office series, Microsoft unveils its ambition to extend its reach from the enterprise market to the consumer market. It is observed that the new operating systems have put tablets at an advantage. On the other hand, it has posed some challenges for conventional PC vendors in regards to their R&D capabilities. For them, the key to success is not only to make their products thinner and lighter, but also to efficiently combine the innovative HMI (Human Machine Interface) and cloud computing services in order to distinguish their products from tablets. Meanwhile, as Microsoft's new operating systems support both X86 and ARM architectures, the release of Windows 8/Windows RT is expected to add more variables in the competition between Intel and ARM.
With the launch of Windows 8, the PC industry is due to enter a new era of the competition full of new product options. Leading tablet branded vendors are taking the advantage of Windows 8 to roll out new products and seek cooperation with new channel distributors in a bid to shed light on the post-PC era.
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Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), based in Taipei, Taiwan, was founded in 1987. MIC is Taiwan's premier IT industry research and consulting firm providing intelligence, in-depth analysis, and strategic consulting services on global IT product and technology trends. MIC is part of the Institute for Information Industry. https://mic.iii.org.tw/english