Notebook sales didn’t have a good first quarter – as many pundits had predicted – with sales expected to hit 35,2-million in the first quarter of 2013, representing a 15% decrease from the 41,4-million notched up in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to research company IHS. 
Christopher Riley, MD of The Notebook Company, says sales of notebooks at his company were 14% down on the fourth quarter of 2012.
“But we expected a slow first quarter,” he says.
“There is often a bit of a dip in the first quarter when compared to the fourth quarter of the previous year. But this is quite a big drop. One of the reasons – certainly from a local perspective – is that South African consumers are struggling with a high level of indebtedness. After spending over the festive season, many will be holding back on the spending – at least temporarily.
“Additionally, even companies are watching expenses right now – even if they do have cash in hand. Everyone is a bit jittery about the economy and don’t want to part with too much cash. But I do see this situation easing up as the year progresses, and we are anticipating a much improved Q2 and Q3 – and are expecting sales to at least match Q2 and Q3 sales recorded last year.
“We are expecting an increase in demand for ultrabooks, but I also believe that – at least as far as The Notebook Company is concerned – that notebook sales will stabilise during the year. Ultimately, from a calendar year perspective, however, I think sales will be down on last year. But we are hoping for a single digit drop,” concludes Riley.