The third quarter of 2008 saw notebook shipments into the U.S. market surpass 50% share, topping quarterly desktop PC shipments for the first time in the history of the industry. The share of notebooks shipped in the U.S. in 3Q08 stood at a solid 55.2%, according to preliminary figures from IDC's U.S. Quarterly PC Tracker.
he 55% ratio was made possible by a record volume of notebooks shipped in 3Q08 ?
over 9.5 million units ? representing more than 18% growth both year over year
and on a sequential basis, according to IDC's preliminary data. These figures
were reached amid a relatively active back-to-school season and the burgeoning
financial crisis, which captured headlines but did not immediately affect the PC
Almost all the leading vendors with desktop and notebook offerings shipped
greater notebook volumes in the quarter. Some vendors such as Toshiba have long
focused exclusively on notebooks. Others, including Sony, Acer, and Lenovo
exceeded the 65% notebook ratio within their own PC client shipment base.
Attracted by the opportunities of an expanded multi-PC-per user base, new
notebook-focused vendors are making their way into the U.S. market, including
Asus and Samsung. The potentially expanding mid-tier vendor base is likely to
further increase competition among well-known brands, with the potential for
lower prices to stimulate demand and keep unit growth in positive territory.
"The consumer market continued to be the top driving factor in the notebook
offensive but the commercial sector played a critical role too" says David Daoud,
research manager, U.S. Quarterly PC Tracker and Personal Systems at IDC. "The
consumer market has long favored notebooks, with mobile ratios exceeding the 70%
mark. So it is clear that the small and mid-markets, as well as the enterprise
and public sector buyers, are seeing good value in mobility. Looking ahead, while
mobility will remain a leading growth factor, the economy will be a major wild
card in the short to mid term. Prolonged economic tension could have an adverse
effect on the PC space leading to reduced growth, but the good news is that
virtually every buyer considers PCs as must-have products and not a secondary