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Notebook makers hit hard in pre-Ivy Bridge lull

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Taiwanese ODMs which produce notebooks for some of the world’s biggest brands including Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo are set to see shipments fall by up to 20 per cent in April as the transition to Intel’s much anticipated Ivy Bridge platform takes hold.

The new chips are set to land later in the month, but large scale shipments of notebooks based on the processors are not likely until the end of the quarter, according to Digitimes.

Citing “sources from the upstream supply chain”, the report claimed that retailers are likely to concentrate on clearing out current Sandy Bridge-based model inventories, leading to a drop in shipments for major ODMs including Wistron, Compal and Quanta of between 10-20 per cent during April.

Notebook shipments at Wistron are set to fall 20 per cent from 3.4m in March to around 2.8m in April, while Quanta is set to see a 16 per cent drop from 4.9m to 4.1m over the same period.

Inventec, which bagged a lucrative contract from HP to build around 12m notebooks this year, will see shipments fall from 1.5m in March to 1.3m in April, the report continued.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom in Taiwan, with order volumes set to grow again in May and June to ensure the second quarter sees respectable growth of up to ten per cent.

Intel’s 22nm third generation processors are widely seen as key to the success or failure of Chipzilla’s Ultrabook push. When they do arrive, the chip giant is set to offer discounts to push the high-end notebook category into the mass market, with sub-$800 models likely to start appearing by the end of Q2.

Acer for one is banking on the category, having claimed that up to 35 per cent of its shipments this year could be Ultrabooks. ®

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