Since 2005, the sales of laptops have displaced those of desktop PCs in the United States.
Due a constant drop in price rapid technical improvements and the swift evolution and extension of the WAN technology, notebooks are destined to replace desktops in most areas both professionally and at home.
Laptops will account for more than half of the worldwide PC shipments by 2011, according to a new report by IDC.
According to the Gartner Group, worldwide some 257.1 million PCs will ship this year, and 60 percent of them will be desktops. PC growth for 2007 should be around 7% while laptops will grow 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 more mature markets notebooks have taken over and continue to grow at a much faster pace. This would hardly shocking news.
Notebooks take up much less space than desktops, they’re portable, and given their relatively low cost compared to a few years ago, you can just buy a new one when you decide you want to upgrade.
Specific reasons of the evolution from desktop to laptop:
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 2007, you can expect a $300 to $500 difference depending on brands.
Power: The same applies here. Even in the early 2000s, any heavy database user or serious gamer would not hesitate one second in between a desktop or a laptop. While there is still an advantage for desktop, 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 the average user using office and going online the desktop have no specific advantages
WiFi/Portability: The explosion of wifi spots is a decisive factor that explains the migration to laptops. Years ago, laptops where generally used because you could take them with you when traveling, nowadays in many areas you can work while traveling (airports, 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.
In addition, laptops are continually getting lighter and screen sizes bigger. Most new laptops come with 17 inch screens and weigh under 7 pounds. Those with 15 inch monitors generally weigh under 5 pounds. You can buy them new starting below $400…
The desktop will not go away anytime soon, they will slowly evolve in a different market demand such as Media PC environment (TV tuner, DVR, radio, music) for the home or used as back up device for your laptop. Chances are that when it is time to replace your DVD player you will may buy a PC and you will also get use to download TV shows on your computer and watch them on your TV.
What’s next for laptops?
– On one hand they will continue to improve in the traditional “way” catching up with the desktops in term of power and capacity and slowly replacing desktop for most needs.
– Another aspect is the extra portability evolution already underway with mini laptops, palmtops, tablet PCs and touch screen laptops. Combining extreme portability and WiFi, these mini laptops will replace gradually paper and pads, order sheets, notebooks and others… As you write or type any information on your mini laptop (orders, notes, drawings, questionnaires….) you have the ability to immediately save, sync or communicate the results.
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