Laptops Outsell Desktops For The First Time

Dennis Faas's picture

According to market researcher iSuppli, for the first time ever PC makers shipped more portable PCs than desktops. Portable PC shipments rose almost 40 percent in the third quarter of 2008 to 38.6 million compared to a 1.3 percent drop to 38.5 million shipments in desktop PCs. Overall, PC sales were up 15.4 percent globally with 79 million PCs shipped.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell benefited from notebook sales as prices on portable PCs declined by targeting sales overseas while U.S. shoppers curbed spending amid the current recession. HP maintained its lead with 18.8 percent of the market share while Dell was second with 13.9 percent. (Source:

Acer increased its share of shipments by 45 percent, taking third place with 12.2 of the market share according to iSuppli. Low-cost machines known as 'netbooks' accounted for much of their growth. Acer introduced its AspireOne netbook in June, resulting in a 4 percent increase in the third quarter of 2008.

Lenovo ranked fourth in total sales with a 7.5 percent market share and Toshiba ranked fifth with a 4.6 percent market share.

iSuppli says the PC market will expand 13 percent this year, up from a previous forecast of 12.5 percent. iSuppli estimates that PC sales will probably increase 4.3 percent in 2009. (Source:

However, researcher IDC predicts that global PC shipment growth will probably slow to 3.8 percent in 2009 and that the value of those shipments will fall 5.3 percent as thrifty businesses and consumers demand lower prices.

From an industry perspective, the problem with netbooks is that they are inexpensive and don't generate much in the way of profits, so while netbook growth is healthy from a shipments standpoint, continued popularity of those devices could end up dramatically harming PC makers financially. (Source:

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