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Tablet and laptop sales neck and neck

Era of the notebook over?

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Brits bought as many tablets as laptops in August, market watcher GfK said today.

Good news for tablet proponents, that, but not for the folk making and selling computer kit. They make less money selling slabs than notebooks.

So while notebooks accounted for 33.6 per cent of IT sales revenue in August 2012, down from 34.5 per cent in August 2011, only 19.5 per cent of the same total came from tablet sales, GfK's numbers show.

Tablets' share of UK IT sales revenues rose year on year from 11.8 per cent.

Accessory sales were up too. Tablet-oriented keyboard sales were up 88 per cent in volume year on year, said GfK, and such keyboards now represent 15 per cent of the value of the Keyboard market in retail channels. That's good for sellers, not least because tablet keyboards are, on average, three times the price of traditional computer keyboards.

And clearly punters value the tablet and keyboard combo above products that integrate the two - notebooks and netbooks, in other words.

Sales of headphones, another popular tablet accessory, were up 25 per cent between August 2012 and August 2011.

Desktop sales fell from 14.5 per cent of total revenue to 13.9 per cent. Packaged software sales' share of revenues dropped from 13.8 per cent to 9.4 per cent, on the back of those declining desktop and laptop sales.

However, GfK highlighted a ten per cent rise on the average cost of boxes software, the result of expensive, specialist tools taking a greater share of sales as lower-cost, more consumer-centric apps are replaced by direct downloads to tablets. ®

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