Taiwanese notebook manufacturers predict that 15-inch notebooks could seize over half the global market in 2003's final quarter.

Shipments of 15-inch portables overtook those of 14.1-inch models in 2003's second quarter, DigiTimes reports; and 15-inch shipments continue to rise, driven by falling panel costs and strong consumer demand for 15-inch models.

The ratio of 14.1-inch to 15-inch notebooks in the global consumer market is estimated at 1:4, the report says.

In late September, DigiTimes reported a move by many manufacturers to produce wide-screen notebooks, with some manufacturers predicting that up to 20-25 per cent of shipments next year will be widescreen models.

These reports could be seen as confirming the business acumen of Apple's executive team, which dubbed 2003 'the year of the notebook', and introduced a 17-inch portable in January this year.

Commodity-driven PC manufacturing giant Dell has so far not delivered a 15-inch configuration.