First there was suspense over the status of HP’s Slate 500 Windows 7 tablet, with many fearing that the device might never see the light of day owing to the PC vendor’s acquisition of Palm, now that it is actually available for order from HP’s website there is confusion on when the company will begin shipping the device. While there are reports of pre-orderers being notified about a delay of 10-15 business days in shipment of their orders, the order status page seems to indicate a much smaller delay. The slate was originally expected to arrive on November 12.
“Due to high demand on the portable system you have selected we will not be able to fulfill the order from on hand stock, therefore we have routed your order to manufacturing for your product to be built. The average lead time to get these portables ready to ship may vary from 10 to 15 business days,” reads an email the company sent to one of the pre-orderers.
This has fueled a lot of speculation, with different blogs positing different theories to explain the delay. GottaBeMobile is blaming the delay on an unexpected bug that requires a full reboot, whereas SlashGear feels HP “may have hedged their bets with Slate 500 stock and planned to manufacture on-demand rather than face a mountain of unsold units.”
Both IDC and Gartner have released their third-quarter PC shipment numbers. While their figures may be contrasting, they paint identical pictures of a quarter that saw underwhelming growth in PC shipments. According to IDC, global PC shipments grew 10.5 percent during the quarter, which is 3 percent less than its forecast. But according to Gartner, PC shipments only grew 7.6 percent during the quarter, ending up well below its estimate of 12.7 percent. Analysts blamed poor back-to-school demand for lower-than-expected results. They also feel that the tablet upsurge is bound to eat into the market for secondary PCs.
The global economic downturn hasn’t been nice to anyone, tech sector included. According to a recent report Acer has reduced their 14 and 15-inch ultra-thin notebook orders due to low market demand.
Wistron, an OEM that often makes large orders for the two notebook models, is now only producing 200,000 units per month, down from the projected 600,000 units. It’s expected that the drop in production will hurt Wistron’s notebook shipments in August. It also noted that the sky is blue.
According to some recent reports, Acer was able to ship out 6.65 million netbooks during the second quarter of this year, raising their share in the global netbook market up to 18.5 percent, compared to 17 percent in the first quarter.
HP was able to hold onto their number one spot amongst netbook vendors, with 8 million shipments during Q2 of this year, giving them a 22 percent market share. Acer, however is in second place, followed by Dell, who maintains a share of 13.2 percent.
The total shipments were 36 million units during Q2, up from the 34.1 million shipped in Q1.
The nascent ultra-portable market has been bristling with brimful of good news and has been extremely sprightly. But finally there is some bad news from the world of netbooks. Asustek has announced that it could only manage to ship 1.7 million of its Eee PC netbooks in the first half of 2008 and failed its own expectations by 300,000 units.
However, unperturbed and undeterred, Asustek is sticking to its target of 5 million Eee PC shipments in 2008. A shortage of Intel’s Atom processors is being held responsible for Asustek’s failure to meet its Eee PC shipping forecast. If the shortage persists than Asus might find it difficult to meet its shipping forecast for 2008. Moreover, it has got worthy competition in form of the MSI Wind which is a lot more enticing with its relatively cheaper, more value-for-money price tag.