updated 04:55 pm EST, Mon December 13, 2010
Toshiba PC sales to grow in low teens in fall 2010
Toshiba digital products GM Jeff Barney mentioned on Monday that Toshiba expects to grow faster than the PC industry average in the last few months of 2010, but also that Microsoft had some rare flukes in 2009. He estimated that his own company would see year-over-year growth in the "low teens" but was rare. While healthy, most of the industry would only grow by a few percentage points because Microsoft had a rare confluence of a new OS release and the height of the netbook fad working to its advantage, Barney told Reuters.
"I think last year had some unique contributing factors, the Windows 7 launch provided a little bit of a bump," he said. "And of course netbooks around the holidays became a real popular gift."
The estimate could see Toshiba hold or gain share over the summer, when it grew more modestly and held on to fifth place in the US. It could nonetheless see the gap widen between itself and either Apple or Acer depending on whether Acer can recover from a rare market share loss. Apple has historically been Toshiba's closest competitor in the US but has been outpacing the industry this year.
Netbooks may face the steepest drop. Companies such as ASUS are reportedly lowering netbook expectations with the expectation that the iPad and other tablets might impact sales. Microsoft has seen sustained Windows 7 sales that set a new record for a first year of release, but the traditional cooling in long-term demand may curb its share.