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iSuppli Adjusts ’07 PC Shipment Forecast

El Segundo, Calif. — iSuppli has upgraded its PC shipment forecast for 2007 because of “stronger-than-anticipated shipments of notebook computers in the first quarter,” the company said in a release.

The research firm is now predicting that global PC shipments will rise to 264 million units this year, up 11.2 percent from the 239 million units shipped in 2006. In its original forecast, the company predicted a 10.7 percent growth for the year.

First-quarter notebook PC shipments were 3 percent higher than the company had previously anticipated, according to Matthew Wilkins, iSuppli’s computer platforms principal analyst. He explained that the original estimate was lower because the company had expected that the second-quarter release of Intel’s Santa Rosa notebook microprocessor platform might have caused consumers to hold back on “purchases originally set for the first quarter. However, Santa Rosa did not have a significant negative effect on first-quarter shipments.”

In all, the company said it expects notebooks to account for nearly 40 percent of total PC market shipments this year.

On the storage side, the company is also reissuing its forecast for solid-state drives (SSDs) in notebook PCs. The company is predicting that the penetration rate of SSDs, which replace conventional hard disk drives (HDDs) in notebooks, will reach 12 percent by the end of 2009.

By that same time, iSuppli is also predicting that the penetration of hybrid hard drives (HHDs) will reach a penetration rate of 35 percent.

“The penetration of HHDs in notebook PCs will rise more quickly in the near term than for SSDs, given that HDD vendors are increasing both the capacity and areal density of their notebook products in 2007 and beyond. Furthermore, HHDs cost less to produce and offer a level of data integrity that can only be delivered by tried-and-true HDD technology. Prices for notebook PC HDDs have dropped dramatically in the first half of 2007, further distancing HHDs from SSDs in the short term, in terms of both absolute capacities and cost per gigabyte,” said Krisha Chander, iSupply storage research senior analyst.

While SSDs and HHDs are both forms of flash data storage, the company noted that it also expects Intel’s Robson or Turbo Memory approach to flash memory to take off this year because “any HDD can work with Turbo Memory.” The company predicted that Turbo Memory will penetrate the market faster than HDDs because HHDs are “still undergoing standardization issues.”

In all, the company expects the combination of these and other flash-based storage solutions to propel the penetration of flash memory in notebooks to nearly 60 percent by the end of 2009’s fourth quarter.