Notebook production by the top five ODMs were just released (slightly late due to the Lunar New Year holiday), and January’s totals were the lowest since TRENDFOCUS started tracking ODM output back in 2010. January’s volumes plummeted over 30% sequentially, and given the fewer work days this month, this figure is expected to drop further in February. The first two months of the calendar year are usually a tough stretch for the PC industry, but this year’s projection is in moving into uncharted territory. We expect (hope) that after February, production volumes will grow in March and continue through the summer ahead of the back to school season, but given the unpredictability of the PC market and the ever-increasing SSD attach rate, nothing is certain.

TRENDFOCUS just released the PC and HDD 2016 forecast, and both markets are projected to decline almost 3% and 5%, respectively over five years; however, depending on whether the worst is really over or not, downward pressure on the forecast remains. 2015 was an extremely challenging year, but 2016 could turn out to be even more so.