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Mobile PC Shipments Pass Desktop PCs for First Time in China

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 3:22am
General Electric

Santa Clara, CALIF., March 5, 2012According to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly China PC Shipment and Forecast Report, rapid growth of the China PC market is driven by the mobile PC segment, which includes notebooks, mini-notes, and tablet PCs. Total PC shipments in 2H11 reached 53.4M, up 12.7% from the first half of the year. China is the largest market for desktop PCs and related displays (monitors or displays in all-in-one PCs), the #3 market for tablet PCs, and the #4 market for notebook PCs and mini-notes. For the PC market as a whole, China is #3, behind North America and EMEA.

The Quarterly China PC Shipment and Forecast Report noted a slowdown in the desktop PC market in 2H11, up only 1% compared to 1H11 and down 3% Y/Y. The all-in-one PC market continued to show good growth, up 32% compared to 1H11.

Although shipments in desktop PCs are flat, the mobile PC market continued to show strong growth, reaching 26.5M in 2H11, up 25% from 1H11. In Q311, mobile PC shipments in China exceeded desktop PC shipments for the first time, thanks to the tremendous growth of tablet PCs.

Figure 1: China PC Shipments by Application (2009-2011)

Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly China PC Shipment and Forecast Report

China continues to try to bolster domestic production of LCD panels to try to meet demand for both PC and TV displays, said Robin Wu, PC and TFT Analyst for NPD DisplaySearch. But most of Chinas LCD production is from smaller Gen 5 fabrication lines, which cannot compete with larger Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese fabs in large panel production; these fabs have thus focused production onsmall/medium panel production, causing some shortages, noted Wu. For example, 19 wide panels (the mainstream size for desktop monitors in China) were in short supply, affecting Chinese brands such as AOC, which saw its LCD monitor shipments decrease 10% in Q311.

The mini-note PC market in China continues to shrink. With Lenovo stopping shipments in Q311, total shipment volume decreased to 668K in the period. However, tablet PC shipments in China reached 4M in Q311. NPD DisplaySearch preliminary data for Q411 suggests that 11.5M tablet PCs shipped in China in 2011. Like many other regions in the world, Apple continued its dominant position in tablet PCs, while other brands like Lenovo and Samsung are struggling to catch up. Unlike other regions, however, white-box tablet PCs have a large share in this region.

Based on strong results in 2011, domestic brands are making aggressive plans for 2012, added Wu. With estimated growth of 28% in 2011, all brands expect continued good performance in notebook PCs, implying tougher market competition ahead in the China PC market.

The NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly China PC Shipment and Forecast Report is the first collective look at the entire personal computer market in mainland China, including tablet PCs, desktop PCs, all-in-one PCs, notebook PCs, and mini-notes. It provides the most comprehensive survey of domestic PC brands and associated products, such as desktop monitors, giving an accurate picture of the China PC market (due to the popularity of building DIY systems in China). It highlights the unique nature of the domestic China PC business and offers comparisons with other regions of the PC market.

For more information on this report, please contact Charles Camaroto at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, or contact@displaysearch.com or contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan.

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