Retailers' reveal why laptop sales are increasing

Laptop sales increase as customers’ demands grow

From the HP Stream to Asus’ Zenbook, a range of different new laptops were unveiled last year. Thanks to their higher specs and greater performance ability, more consumers are turning back to the traditional device, Jade Burke reports…

As more consumers look for products with higher specifications, the faithful laptop is starting to witness a bit of a revival in the industry.

Brand new laptops from the likes of HP and Acer were unveiled last year, all with competitive prices helping to increase their sales, outshining smaller tablets.

For example, consumer- targeted clamshell laptop sales were up by 20.3 per cent year-on-year in Q3 2014, according to analyst Context, with low-end budget laptops leading the way.

We have already seen how popular desktops have been over the last year, with Apple revealing it had sold more Macs than iPads during Q4 2014, however, it seems the traditional laptop is also starting to really rival both desktops and tablets.

GfK’s business group director, Carl West, also revealed that laptops are indeed making a recovery, with a seven per cent increase in volume and 1.3 per cent in value in Q3 2014. Although, West believes there will also be a greater volume of computing hybrid products during 2015.

Thanks to the back-to- school season and various promotions on offer, paired with the range of budget- friendly devices, more consumers opted for a laptop.

It’s not just a rise in sales at big etailers or national stores, either. Independent retailers have noticed that laptop sales are increasing. Garry Stonehouse, owner of GBiz IT Computers, comments: “Our laptops are selling a lot quicker now than they ever were before, while our tablets have virtually stopped selling completely.”

With customers’ demands for faster download speeds and streaming increasing, the mini computer seems to fit the bill over tablets.

Consumers are also beginning to look to laptops for their portability benefits, as charger wires are used less frequently thanks to longer lasting battery life. Plus, laptops have more powerful processors and technology embedded within that is similar to a PC.

The PC Surgeon’s tech advisor Rakesh Selarka adds: “Consumers prefer laptops because they meet the classic demand for a powerful and portable computer.”

But why are some consumers not content with their tablet? Context revealed that tablet unit sales were down by 23.5 per cent year- on-year in Q3 2014, and by 10.6 per cent for the first seven weeks of Q4 2014, suggesting consumers are now turning to other devices, such as laptops.

People are looking for wider screens and more intense graphics, something not all tablets can provide, which in turn has caused sales to dwindle.

Anthony Lay, owner of AML Midlands, believes: “One thing which is becoming more obvious is the requirements for better graphics or HD screens and SSDs. These attributes have always been there in high end systems, but due to the falling price in GPU prices and SSDs they are now becoming run of the mill, which makes the requirements of the tablet appear to decline.”

However, it seems that laptop sales are increasing due to a particular customer, as Gavin Holder, director of GHI Computers, adds: “We intend to hold stocks of laptops as always, but our business model relies on the opportunist and impulse buyers of the passing trade.”

The company has seen a rise in its laptop sales overall, with sales up by 34 per cent on last year. “Laptops have always been a strong category for us,” explains Holder.

AMD, also revealed that laptops were the number one choice for many students last year. The company’s Back-to-School Technology Usage Survey found that 81 per cent of students couldn’t imagine doing school work without their laptop, and that the main considerations when choosing one were fast performance, price and battery life.

Regardless of the reasons why, laptops are back. Let’s hope the resurgence continues throughout 2015 and beyond.

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