Unified Communications Featured Article

Laptop Sales Jump as People Become More Mobile

December 17, 2008

With the rise in mobile unified communications and the attractiveness of being able to work from any location, it comes as no surprise that laptop sales saw close to a 17 percent jump in sales last month.
According to market researcher, the NPD Group, while computer sales were up 6 percent overall last month, desktop PC sales declined 20 percent. This is further evidence that Americans are transitioning from desktop to portable computers, said NPD analyst Steven Baker.

The NPD Group also revealed that Windows PC sales in the U.S. saw a 7 percent rise in November, but sales of Apple’s Mac computers were less lively compared to last year.
The analyst believes the numbers are a sign that Apple's iMac line needs to be updated. The company's desktop computers saw a 38 percent sales decline, compared with a 15 percent decline for Windows desktop PCs.
Apple's decreasing desktop sales could also mean that consumers are becoming more cost conscious during today’s weakening economy. Apple's computers are cost more than their Windows counterparts.
"We are seeing a little bit of movement to lower-cost products," Baker said.

However, Apple's laptop sales grew 22 percent compared with a 15 percent increase for Windows notebooks.
Shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple added $1 to $95.75 in afternoon trading. Baker said that the health of the overall PC market is "pretty good, comparatively speaking." 

Shares of Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's No. 1 PC maker, increased by $1.58, or 4.5 percent, to $36.40.
Moreover, shares of No. 2 Dell rose 72 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $11.85.
On Monday, the NPD Group launched a new monthly report, The Economy Tracker, to monitor how the economy is affecting consumer attitudes and shopping behavior.
The Economy Tracker provides insight into consumers' perceptions of the U.S. economy, their awareness of their own economic situation, and how they are responding in retail sector.
Some of the specific measures available in the monthly report are focused on outlining areas of opportunity for manufacturers and retailers.
They include:
-- Degree of confidence or concern
-- Spending and shopping expectations overall and by category
-- Key drivers of store and product selection
-- Changes in use of various payment methods

NPD's Economy Tracker Model

The categories covered in the report include Consumer Electronics, Video Games, Music, Movies, Dining/Eating Out, Apparel, Footwear, and others. Demographic information is also provided for analysis by age, income, census region, and other variables.
"The current economic situation is creating dramatic shifts in consumer spending, and businesses can no longer operate under the 'old rules,'" said Dee Warmath, vice president for Retail Insights at NPD. "Our goal in developing The Economy Tracker is to help our clients to identify the bright spots in an otherwise bleak retail landscape and to guide their organizations through these challenging times with greater certainty."

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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