White-Box Futures Looking Dim

It seems that sales of white-box PCs may turn a whiter shade of pale.

According to a report from IDC, the share of white-box computers hasn't changed that much, dropping from a 44 percent share of the worldwide market in 2003 to 37 percent in 2006. However, the white-book market has fallen from an unimpressive 8.5 percent share to a 5.6 percent share over the same period of time. Given the growing popularity of the general laptop systems market -- to the point where laptops are easily the most dominant form factor among PCs -- this isn't good news for white-box manufacturing.

What puts the smaller white-box makers at a disadvantage in the notebook market (thereby making it hard to fight back) is that they count on an oversupply of computer parts that they can snap up at a significant discount. But increasingly, those overly abundant parts are designed for specific, and not generic, notebook models. Mixing and matching components in a notebook is not as easy as doing so with desktop and server systems.

Posted by Ed Scannell on November 01, 2007


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