Driven by the rise of ultrabooks, the release of
Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 8 operating system and the
arrival of Intel Corp.'s Ivy Bridge microprocessor,
China's PC market in 2012 will expand by a robust
13 percent rate compared to 2011, according to the
IHS iSuppli China Research Service at information and
analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
"China has become the most important PC market
worldwide, representing not only the vast majority of
global production, but also a major source of
demand," said Elaine Zhi, analyst for China
electronics research at IHS. "And amid a period of
slowing PC sales growth worldwide, China's consumers
and businesses continue to generate healthy
China accounts for 22 percent of global demand and
contributing more than 90 percent of total production. PC
shipments in the country in 2012 will reach 83.6 million
units, up from 73.9 million units in 2011 and from 67.0
million units in 2010, as shown in the figure attached.
Ultrabooks are slim and light notebook PCs that deliver
five or more hours of battery life in between charges and
boot times of 7 seconds or less. Because of these
features, ultrabooks have the opportunity to become the
next growth driver for the notebook industry.
Windows 8 requires less powerful processors than Windows
7 and consumes 30 percent less internal memory. It's
also the first Windows operating system to support the
low-cost ARM microprocessor platform.
These features will yield new PCs that are more
With Windows 8 and Intel's Ivy Bridge expected to
arrive in late 2012, PC market growth this year will be
weighted toward the end of the year.
HDD setback won't stall desktops
In China's desktop PC market, annual growth is
expected to rise to 8 percent in 2012, up from 5 percent
While the Thailand floods last year severely impacted the
global supply of hard disk drives (HDD), HDD output is
now predicted to recover to its original level by the
third quarter this year. Any problems that may have been
brought on by the previous HDD supply shortfall will not
affect the China desktop market, projected to see
continued steady growth in 2012.
The country's commercial desktop PC market is also
full of new opportunities, with many companies in the
medical, traffic, energy and utilities industries looking
to replace or purchase new systems in 2012.
As for the notebook PC market in China, IHS predicts
sales will gain momentum from the introduction of
ultrabooks, with PC makers such as Lenovo, Acer, Asustek,
Hewlett-Packard and Samsung all devoted to developing new
ultrabook models. IHS forecasts the ultrabook will
account for 15 to 20 percent of total notebook PC
shipments in China in 2012.
Even so, the market appears to have inflated expectations
for ultrabook sales, mainly because the ultrabook's
bill of materials (BOM) remains too high due to strict
requirements in hardware design. This will drive up
prices and limit shipment growth.
For now the price of the ultrabook hews very closely to
that of Apple's MacBook Air, the competing platform
most similar to the ultrabook that the PC market hopes to
dislodge. But in order for ultrabooks to compete, the
super-thin computers will need better pricing and
performance than the MacBook Air.
That means coming somewhere close to the mainstream
notebook price in China's domestic market of around
RMB 4,000 to 6,000.
Apple's iPad products are popular among end users and
are sold at competitive prices in China, which means the
ultrabook has a tough competitive battle ahead. Sales of
Ultrabooks, now in their second generation, are likely to
pick up robustly after the official launch of Windows 8
and Ivy Bridge later this year.
Lenovo on top
In China's domestic PC market, Lenovo remains the
leader of both the consumer and commercial PC segments
with an overall 35.5 percent market share. In the third
quarter of 2011, Lenovo surpassed Dell to become the
second-largest global commercial notebook PC supplier.
For its part, Acer has recovered from continuous losses
and has become the second-largest notebook market in
China with a 9.5 percent market share, followed by Dell.
This is mainly because of Acer's fast development in
all-in-one PCs and ultrabooks.
Although Hewlett-Packard is still the top PC maker
globally, its rank in China has declined to fifth place
with a 5.3 percent market share. In a bid to regain
share, HP intends to change its webOS to the upcoming
Windows 8 and bring out more tablets in the second half
About IHS (www.ihs.com)
IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information,
insight and analytics in critical areas that shape
today's business landscape. Businesses and
governments in more than 165 countries around the globe
rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent
analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make
high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed
and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and
became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock
Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado,
USA, IHS employs more than 5,500 people in more than 30
countries around the world.
IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other
company and product names may be trademarks of their
respective owners. © 2012 IHS Inc. All rights