Microsoft is facing increased competition from MacBooks and Chromebooks, with the global notebook OS market share for Windows 8 already dropping to below 90%, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Thanks to iPhones and iPads, demand for Apple’s Mac series products has also been rising in the past few years. Meanwhile, Google is seeing increased Chromebook demand from the US and the UK’s education procurement and enterprise markets.
Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook Air will enter mass production in the third quarter, filling the gap between the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs as well as enhancing Apple’s leadership in the small-to-medium-size ultra-thin notebook market, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Quanta Computer will be responsible for the assembly of the 12-inch device, said the sources, adding that so far, they have not heard any changes coming to the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air products.
MacBook shipments in 2014 are likely to drop by about 15% from 12 million units in 2013 to 10 million units or even 9.9 million units, according to some of Taiwan-based supply chain makers. MacBook shipments in January-February 2014 were as expected, but Apple has significantly decreased shipments in March, the sources said.