The death of the notebook was inevitable. The notebook’s year-over-year growth was negative for the first time ever this August, according to a recent report published by Morgan Stanley Research. Need more be said?
Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley suggests that the damage done to the notebook PC market over the past eight or nine months has been substantial. The report suggested that, ‘tablet cannibalisation’ was responsible at least to some extent.
NPD, a leading consumer and retail market research information firm, published data which shows that after six months of decelerating growth in the US, notebook sales in the retail market fell four per cent this year in August compared with the same period last year. This is the first time that laptop sales have ever been negative.
Similarly, data for the first week of September shows that sales of units fell four per cent year over year again. Huberty expects that tablets will continue to pressure PCs as more vendors launch products and widen their distribution.
Everyone in the industry probably knew that it would happen someday or the other and the Wall Street Journal reported in 2009 that multinationals, like Verizon, were replacing on-the-field laptops with smartphones. Companies had switched 12,000 laptops to smartphones by the end of that year. How’s that for a global trend?
This may not be the end of laptops as we know it, even though the numbers clearly say otherwise. But it is probably going to be similar to what happened with the radio.
This is because now a laptop costs pretty much the same as a desktop. Add up the price of the screen, CPU and various other parts and you get the price of a similar laptop.
Right now an almost identical situation is developing with tablets. They can do mostly everything the laptop can: browse the web, send and receive emails, play movies and songs, and so on.
And now, you can buy some great tablet computers in Pakistan. Both Apple’s iPad and Dell’s Streak are unofficially available in Pakistan. Moreover, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab may very well be coming soon for an official launch.
So the question is, when are you selling your laptop?
The author can be reached at [email protected]
Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2010.
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