SHIPMENTS OF LAPTOPS are set to only increase a smidgen in 2018, according to tech market intelligence firm TrendForce, which has pointed blame and a lack of supply of Intel CPUs as the root of the decline.
You'd think with snazzy news laptops like the Surface Laptop 2 and Huawei MateBook X Pro that the notebook segment of the PC world would be soaring. But TrendForce predicts it will only grow by 3.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q3 2018.
That's down from the predicted growth of five to six per cent, though some 42 million units will still ship, which isn't exactly a small number of lappys.
But thanks to Intel's struggle of late to get high volumes of its processors out into the market for hardware makers to plonk into their laptops, high growth in the notebook market looks off the cards.
"Although notebook manufacturers are now at the end of their preparation for the year-end holiday season, they are still active in production planning in order to achieve the shipment goal this year," says Kou-Han Tseng, TrendForce notebook analyst.
By that preparation is set to be borked by the lack of inventory for mainstream CPUs, despite Intel seemingly having all manner of chips to offer.
And yeah, before you say it, we know AMD does laptop processors, but they aren't anywhere near as popular as Intel's silicon slices. The continued rise of Ryzen CPUs might change that, at least that's according to our crystal ball.
Such a situation won't really upset the apple cart when it comes to the laptop makers, with HP, Lenovo, and Dell taking the first, second and third spots as the largest notebook floggers in the third quarter of 2018. No surprises there.
Things look a tad rougher for the likes of Apple. While it adopted new processors for its latest iteration of the MacBook Pros, it failed to offer the performance bang for the buck customers would expect when shelling out a hefty wad of cash for a Cupertino designed laptop. Things could turn around with the release of the MacBook Air, but we'll have to wait and see.
All in all, the laptop world looks to be simply ticking along and is arguably waiting for Intel to pull its finger out and get some 10-nanometre chips to the market. µ
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