Feeds

Tough luck, lappies: Brits favour fingersome fondleslabs, phones

Can notebook sales survive the clamour for touchscreen tech?

The essential guide to IT transformation

Tablets have been outselling desktop and notebook PCs combined here in Blighty, and they could well be about to generate more revenue for their manufacturers too, data from GfK, a market watcher, suggests.

Slates have accounted for more than half of the sales volume of computer products in the UK since October 2012, GfK’s monthly stats show, rising to almost three-quarters in the run-up to Christmas but then falling back to just under 60 per cent during the first three months of 2013.

So far, though, notebooks generate more sales value than tablets. Just about, anyway. November and December 2012 are notable exceptions, and there were only a couple of percentage points in it: laptops’ sales value share in March 2013 was 47.1 per cent; tablets ran to 45.0 per cent.

That’s close enough for tablets to overtake during the coming months, though with Apple apparently unprepared to release new products until the autumn, and with Intel’s Haswell processor imminent - bringing with it a raft of tempting new laptops - the balance may yet tilt in the notebooks’ favour in the short term.

But probably not. “While some [observers] were expecting tablet sales to slow down after Christmas, we are still seeing year on year volume and value growth of 90.1 per cent and 32.6 per cent, respectively, in March 2013,” said GfK’s Robyn Tovey.

Then again: “The mobile computing market - a mature and saturated market - has been in a gradual decline since the onset of the more mobile form factors such as the media tablet. However, in March 2013 we saw this decline begin to level as sales volume actually grew by 1.5 per cent,” he added.

“The overall IT retail market experienced year on year volume and value growth of 9.8 per cent and 6.8 per cent, respectively, in March 2013. Media tablets and tablet peripherals were responsible for most of this growth.”

If notebooks sales do stay ahead of tablets, it may well be because of Windows 8 and its emphasis on touchscreen technology. Separate figures from GfK show punters want touchscreens in mobile devices. When it comes to handsets, for instance, two years ago only half of those bought by Britons featured a touchscreen. Now more than three-quarters do, and buyers are willing to put up with mobile network operators' contracts to get hold of them for little or no extra cost - essential when the average touchscreen phone on its own costs £300 more than its buttons-only equivalent.

Prepaid handset sales have been in “free-fall” for the past few years, said GfK analyst Ben Tutt. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.