2006 Notebook PC Market Dominated by Widescreen Displays with 60% Share

DisplaySearch expects the worldwide notebook PC market to grow significantly in 2H'06, exceeding 19.4 million units in Q3'06 and 21.5 million units in Q4'06 for a total 40.9M units, compared to just 34.7 million units in 1H'06. The increase in volume in 2H'06 will be driven by the combined forces of back to school and holiday seasonality and greater availability of dual core CPUs. Beyond 2006, DisplaySearch expects notebook PC shipments to reach 91.7M units in 2007, growing to almost 137M units by 2010.

DisplaySearch revealed in its latest Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report that wide-aspect ratio notebook PC shipments in Q2'06 exceeded 60% share of the worldwide notebook PC market. NPD's POS sell-though data from major US retailers selling to consumers clearly shows the consumer market for notebook PCs is increasingly dominated by widescreen models with penetration rates now as high as 98%. However, NPD's tracking of POS shipments through US commercial channels shows that large corporations (the largest market for notebook PC shipments) have been slower to adopt this newer technology. 

The large difference between penetration rates in the consumer and corporate markets can be attributed to a number of factors:
  • Corporate PC standards: In order to maximize purchasing power and minimize the need to support a wide variety of platforms, large enterprises generally develop a short list of accepted products these "standards" lists do not change as often as the dynamics of the PC market.
  • Software that is optimized for standard aspect ratio displays
  • Compatibility with legacy infrastructure and with the business infrastructure at-large: Many notebook PCs are deployed by a company's field work force to travel to their customers' locations. Consequently, compatibility with boardroom projectors is important, and most of those are standard-aspect ratio displays.

A milestone was achieved in Q1'06 when worldwide penetration of widescreen notebook PCs surpassed 50%, a stark contrast to just one year ago when widescreen notebook PC shipments were less than 35% of the total worldwide notebook PC market.

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