Mobile PC Sales Increase in China, but Desktop Sales Fall Flat

By Jacqueline Lee April 23, 2012

Even though China remains the number-one market in the world for desktop PCs, the country saw a significant slowdown in the sales of desktop PCs last year. By contrast, sales of mobile PCs including notebooks, mini notebooks and tablets increased by approximately 25.8 percent.

Some of the slowdown in desktop PC sales is caused by a shortage of LCD panels. China produces LCDs for Gen 5 fabrication lines. These lines cannot compete with larger Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean lines, causing China to focus its resources on production of small- and medium-sized screens.

The mainstream size for desktop monitors in China is 19 inches, and those monitors were in short supply in 2011. As a result, shipments for companies like AOC decreased by as much as 10 percent.

Notebook PCs and tablets have shown tremendous growth in China, while mini notebook sales have shrunk. The slowdown happened when Lenovo stopped shipping mini notebooks in the third quarter of 2011. Four million tablet PCs, however, shipped in the third quarter of 2011, and 11.5 million tablets shipped during the fourth quarter. Apple continues to dominate, while companies like Samsung and Lenovo struggle to catch up.

“Based on strong results in 2011, domestic brands are making aggressive plans for 2012,” noted Robin Wu, PC and TFT Analyst for NPD DisplaySearch. “With estimated growth of 28 percent in 2011, all brands expect continued good performance in notebook PCs, implying tougher market competition ahead in the China PC market.” Even with some slowdown in desktop PCs, total shipment of PCs increased by 12.7 percent throughout the country.

NPD DisplaySearch published this information in its latest Quarterly China PC Shipment and Forecast Report. The company focuses on research on the display supply chain, as well as research in the emerging market for photovoltaic and solar cells. The Quarterly is the first collective look at the personal computer market in mainland China.

Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing Writer

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