Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Worldwide notebook computer shipments will post a slower-than-expected growth in the second quarter of 2012 due to the weak demand in Europe, according to research firm International Data Corp. (IDC).
IDC predicted that notebook shipments from original design manufacturers will rise 9.7 percent from the first quarter to 50.8 million units in the second quarter, much lower than its previous forecast of up to 15 percent.
"The manufacturers had expected their sales to pick up in the second quarter after the supply of hard disk drives returned to normal," Helen Chiang, senior research manager at IDC, said recently on the sidelines of a technology forum in Taipei organized by the research firm.
"However, they found that the European demand was worse than they imagined due to the ongoing debt crisis, which offset the good news from the hard drive supply, while Intel Corp. also delayed its new Ivy Bridge processors," she said.
IDC expects notebook shipments to record quarterly growth of 12.1 percent in the third quarter thanks to the launch of more thin and light models, while full-year shipments will reach 213 million units, up 6.93 percent from 2011.
The annual growth will rise even higher to 12.75 percent in 2013, given that Microsoft Corp. is expected to release its new Windows 8 operating system in the second half of this year, driving a boom in both consumer and commercial laptops next year.
"We expect new form factors such as convertible and detachable models, and we expect a brighter outlook for touch-enabled notebooks in the second half of 2013 when touch screen prices drop further," Chiang said.
She forecast that touch-enabled notebooks will account for 5 percent of the total notebook shipments this year, and the figure will increase to 10 percent next year.
(By Jeffrey Wu)