Notebooks out-shipping desktops isn't quite unheard of—NPD said it happened in the U.S. market way back in 2003. However, iSuppli now reports the same thing has occurred on a global scale for the first time ever—a "watershed event in the history of the industry," the research firm comments.
According to iSuppli, global notebook shipments added up to 38.6 million units in the third quarter of this year, but PC makers only shipped 38.5 million desktops. That's not such an impressive victory until you consider growth numbers: whereas laptop shipments increased by "almost 40%" between Q3 2007 and Q3 2008, desktop shipments actually fell by 1.3%. At this rate, laptops will out-ship desktops by a lot more than 100,000 units before too long.
iSuppli has compiled market share numbers, as well. HP stayed in first place with 18.8% of global PC shipments last quarter, while Dell snagged 13.9% of shipments, Acer secured 12.2%, and Lenovo came in fourth place with 7.5%. Last, but not least, Toshiba ended up in fifth place with just 4.6% of shipments.
Somewhat surprisingly, iSuppli writes that Q3 shipments were actually above its expectations, and it's increased its 2008 growth forecast from 12.5% to 13% as a result. The firm expects growth of only 4.3% next year, though.