Laptops are taking over PCs to answer professional, educational and personal demand According to the Gartner Group, worldwide some 257.1 million PCs shipped in 2007, and 60 percent of them were desktops. PC growth for 2007 was around 7% while laptops grew by 18.6% and will continue to maintain a double digit growth at least until 2010. Desktop sales are still strong in the EMEA and Latin America with about 60% of all shipments.
In the US alone, the laptop shipments grew in 2007 by 21 percent while Desktops sales went down four percent last year. By 2011, IDC expects laptops to represent 66 percent of corporate purchases, with 71 percent of consumers opting for a notebook instead of a desktop.
The slowdown in the United States economy in 2008 has reduced PC sales. For the first-quarter 2008 computer sales rose in the United States just 3.5 percent. Worldwide, computer sales rose by 14.6 percent, IDC said. Laptops will account for two third of the worldwide PC shipments by 2011, according to a new report by IDC.
In all markets, the growth came from laptop sales to the detriment of desktop sales. The PC market is changing from “one PC per household to one PC per person,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president of clients and displays at IDC.
With other countries maintaining double-digit PC sales growth as the United States slows, the United States represented 23 percent of the world market, down from 25 percent last year.
Specific reasons of the evolution from desktop to laptop:
This transition is due a constant drop in price rapid technical improvements, the swift evolution and extension of the WAN technology, the multiplication of applications and their effects on our lifestyles, notebooks are destined to replace desktops in most areas both professionally and at home.
Price: While laptops are still more expensive than desktops for the same power/capacity, the gap is constantly narrowing. In 2000 you could expect to pay almost double for a laptop comparable to average desktop priced around $1,000. In 2008, you can expect a $300 to $500 difference depending on brands. Entry level laptops start in the $300 range while the mid range is situated around $700, a huge difference from just five years ago.
Power: In the early 2000s, any heavy database user or serious gamer would always pick a desktop over a laptop. This barrier has come down drastically; in fact many IT departments have migrated to laptops and only the most serious queries are run on servers. The same applies to gamers where only the most demanding games need to be run on the most advanced desktop. For average use, the desktop no longer has any specific advantages.
WiFi/Hotspots: The explosion of Wi-Fi / hotspots is a decisive factor that helps explain the migration to laptops. Airports, hotels, trains, restaurants, coffee shops… are among the location where you can actually go online at a very comfortable speed. You can even use such tool as Skype with a wireless laptop and have video conference anywhere you have WiFi access. Indeed more and more people go on vacation with their laptop and most hotels including the cheaper ones are now offering free Wi-Fi as commodity not a luxury.