Global Notebook Shipments Surge in Q2 2023, Setting the Stage for a Potential Rebound

The global notebook market showcased remarkable resilience in the second quarter of 2023, with inventory channels indicating healthy levels, according to the latest data from TrendForce.
Notebook business forecast from TrendForce
The report said the notebook market in the North America and Asia-Pacific regions, in particular, demonstrated a strong appetite for mid and low-tier consumer models, strategically preparing for the anticipated back-to-school wave in the upcoming third quarter.

In a surprising turn of events, just as Google prepared to roll out licensing fees, Chromebook shipments hit a peak, propelling Q2 notebook shipments to an impressive 42.52 million units, representing a substantial 21.6 percent quarterly leap.

However, a look at the year’s performance reveals that a total of 77.5 million units of notebooks were shipped in the first half of the year, marking a 23.5 percent YoY decline.

Looking ahead to the second half of 2023 (2H23), growth momentum in the global notebook market is expected to be anchored in the purchasing power of end consumers. However, with economic uncertainties lingering in major notebook markets such as the US and Europe, the typical seasonal purchasing demand is anticipated to be subdued.

Some of this demand in the notebook market was already met in Q2, contributing to a moderate growth forecast of 3.8 percent for Q3, totaling 44.13 million units. Overall, annual notebook shipments are projected to reach 163 million units, signifying a YoY decline of 12.2 percent.

As the tech horizon for 2024 appears promising, market inventories align with healthier metrics, and anticipated inflationary pressures begin to stabilize, global notebook shipments are poised for a potential rebound. However, challenges persist as the global consumer environment grapples with the lasting effects of the pandemic.

TrendForce projects an annual growth rate hovering between 2–5 percent for 2024, slightly surpassing pre-pandemic levels after inventory adjustments, signaling a gentle recovery for the broader market. The spotlight remains on consumer markets, particularly China and the US, to ascertain if a robust shipment surge is on the horizon.

In the latter half of this year, the absence of seasonal market activity coupled with subdued demand has impacted corporate profitability and presents challenges for the upcoming year’s budgeting. The rise of AI and the focus on its foundational infrastructure may potentially sideline IT expenditures.

Furthermore, the impending end of support for Windows 10 in October 2025 is expected to trigger a wave of business device upgrades starting in 2024. However, TrendForce believes that the demand for commercial notebooks may delay and subdue the momentum and urgency of this upgrade wave, making significant shipment growth less likely.

On the consumer demand front, economic powerhouses like China face challenges due to a subdued economic and employment environment, casting a somewhat pessimistic view on its market development. Conversely, the US witnessed a robust rebound in demand in 2023, though anticipations hint at tempered growth in 2024.

Europe, after a two-year demand recalibration, might experience a consumer resurgence in the latter half of the year, should the broader economic climate brighten. Finally, Southeast Asia, buoyed by a burgeoning consumer segment, forecasts upward-trending shipments, indicating a modest growth in consumer-focused devices.

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