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Laptops and Desktop Computers - US - August 2013

“The computer market does not lack for innovation. In fact, so much effort has been placed in product development that the industry may have temporarily stepped ahead of consumer taste and awareness, and run into problems that can be tackled via marketing rather than an endless stream of new technologies and functionality.”

– Billy Hulkower, Senior Technology Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Are convertibles the answer to sector woes?
  • Can the desktop be the new television?
  • How many computing devices does a household need?

 

Recent news for the PC industry has been poor. Global shipments are falling at historical rates in 2013, on the heels of an estimated 3.5% decline in shipments worldwide in 2012. However, Mintel research finds that only a fraction of current computer owners see tablets as a reasonable replacement for a computer—most owners want a keyboard, substantial storage space, and a more powerful tool for productivity.

Further, 300 million PCs are expected to be sold globally in 2013. Even as a market in decline, the PC remains a critical piece of the digital life, and one that merits substantial branding campaigns, with Mintel research finding that PC buyers are only rarely willing to purchase from an unknown brand.

This report provides the research, insights, and innovations necessary to brand survival as the PC market contracts in the near term, and evolves in the long term. The report covers desktop and laptop computers, including all-in-one (AIO) PCs, ultralights netbooks, and convertible laptop/tablets sold with a hard keyboard and marketed as a computer. Tablets are only discussed as a competitive product. Peripheral hardware, software, and online services are not the focus of this report, and are only discussed as drivers where relevant.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • The market
                        • Mature market offers few new buyers
                          • Figure 1: U.S. laptop and desktop PC sales 2008-13
                        • Slowdown in decline in average spend on a PC
                          • HP, Apple, Acer on the rise
                            • Figure 2: Brand of PC most recently purchased, by date of acquisition, July 2012-March 2013
                          • The consumer
                            • Room for growth in laptop ownership among high-income consumers
                              • Figure 3: Household ownership of laptop and desktop computers, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                            • Machine failure top reason for new purchase
                              • Figure 4: Top five reasons for most recent PC purchase, June 2013
                            • Broad but lukewarm appeal for new features
                              • Figure 5: Interest in select new features if buying a new PC, June 2013
                            • Portability has its limits
                              • Figure 6: Attitudes toward PC hardware form, June 2013
                            • Long-term loyalty almost absent
                              • Figure 7: Role of brand familiarity in last computer purchase, June 2013
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • Are convertibles the answer to sector woes?
                                  • The issues
                                    • The implications
                                      • Can the desktop be the new television?
                                        • The issues
                                          • The implications
                                            • How many computing devices does a household need?
                                              • The issues
                                                • The implications
                                                • Trend Application

                                                    • Inspire Trend: The Suite Life
                                                      • Inspire Trend: Many Mes
                                                        • Mintel Futures: Access Anything, Anywhere
                                                        • Market Size

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Extended decline
                                                              • Figure 8: U.S. PC sales in current dollars, 2008-13
                                                              • Figure 9: U.S. PC sales at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-13
                                                            • Unit sales and average price both falling
                                                              • Figure 10: U.S. PC unit sales, 2008-13
                                                            • Declines in pricing decelerating
                                                              • Figure 11: Cost of most recently acquired computer, July 2008-March 2013
                                                          • Competitive Context

                                                            • Tablets not the villain
                                                              • Figure 12: Most likely replacement purchase when current PC breaks, by age, June 2013
                                                          • Leading Companies

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Dell’s losses gained by Apple, HP, Acer
                                                                • Figure 13: Computer brand most recently purchased, by date of acquisition, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                • Figure 14: Computer brand most recently acquired, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                • Figure 15: Computer brand most recently acquired, by age, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                • Figure 16: Cost of most recently acquired PC, by brand, July 2012-March 2013
                                                              • Dell slides in purchase intent
                                                                • Figure 17: Computer brand intended for purchase, July 2010-March 2013
                                                                • Figure 18: Computer brand intended for purchase, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                                                            • Innovations and Innovators

                                                              • Laptop/tablet convertibles
                                                                • Figure 19: Sony VAIO Duo 13
                                                                • Figure 20: Dell XPS 12 Convertible
                                                                • Figure 21: Asus Transformer Book Trio
                                                              • Gesture-based computing
                                                              • Social Media

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Key social media metrics
                                                                        • Figure 22: Key brand metrics, PC brands, June 2013
                                                                      • Market overview
                                                                        • Ownership and recent purchase
                                                                          • Figure 23: Ownership and recent purchase of selected PC brands, June 2013
                                                                        • Interaction with brands
                                                                          • Figure 24: Interaction with selected PC brands, June 2013
                                                                        • Online conversations
                                                                          • Figure 25: Online mentions of selected Tier 1 PC brands, by week, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                          • Figure 26: Online mentions of selected Tier 2 PC brands, by week, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                        • Where are people talking about PC brands?
                                                                          • Figure 27: Mentions by page type selected PC brands, by tier, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                        • What are people talking about?
                                                                            • Figure 28: Mentions by type of conversation, on selected PC brands, by tier, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                            • Figure 29: Major areas of discussion surrounding PC brands, by page type, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                          • Brand analysis
                                                                            • Dell
                                                                                • Figure 30: Dell key social media indicators, July 2013
                                                                              • Key online campaigns
                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                  • Lenovo
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Lenovo key social media indicators, July 2013
                                                                                  • Key online campaigns
                                                                                    • What we think
                                                                                      • HP
                                                                                        • Figure 32: HP key social media indicators, July 2013
                                                                                      • Key online campaigns
                                                                                        • What we think
                                                                                          • Acer
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Acer key social media indicators, July 2013
                                                                                          • Key online campaigns
                                                                                            • What we think
                                                                                              • Ultrabook
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Ultrabook key social media indicators, July 2013
                                                                                              • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                • What we think
                                                                                                  • Chromebook
                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Chromebook key social media indicators, June 2013
                                                                                                  • Key online campaigns
                                                                                                    • What we think
                                                                                                    • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                      • Overview
                                                                                                        • Cooperative efforts seek to prop up market
                                                                                                          • Apple treads water
                                                                                                            • Cross-platform initiatives
                                                                                                              • Intel and Toshiba shine with second foray into “social film”
                                                                                                                • Corporate brands burnish images with cause-related marketing
                                                                                                                  • TV campaigns
                                                                                                                    • Google Chromebook
                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Google Chromebook, “For everyone” television ad
                                                                                                                    • Apple MacBook Pro
                                                                                                                      • Dell’s two-pronged approach
                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Dell Ultrabooks, “Meet Thomas” television ad
                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Dell Ultrabook, “Disappearing stars” television ad
                                                                                                                      • HP
                                                                                                                        • Lenovo and Acer go to cinematic extremes
                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Lenovo “seize the night” television ad
                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Acer/Star trek into darkness television ad
                                                                                                                        • Intel Ultrabook co-op with Best Buy
                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Ultrabook convertible “Egypt” Television ad
                                                                                                                      • Computer Ownership

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Growth needs to come out of competitor’s share
                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Personal and household ownership of computers, July 2008-March 2013
                                                                                                                          • Age, income, education drive ownership
                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Household ownership of laptop and desktop computers, by age, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Personal ownership of a computer, by age, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Household ownership of laptop and desktop computers, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Personal ownership of a computer, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                        • Intent to Purchase

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • One in five households in the market
                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Intent to purchase a computer and when, by age, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Intent to purchase a computer and when, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Cost of computer most recently acquired, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                            • Purchase cycle
                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: When PC was last purchased, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: When PC was last purchased, by presence of children in household, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: When PC was last purchased, by age, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                            • Laptops dominate purchase intent
                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Computer types intended for purchase—laptops vs. desktops, by age, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Computer types intended for purchase—laptops vs. desktops, by household income, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                            • New forms gaining traction
                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Type of laptop and desktop intended for purchase, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward Brands

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Familiarity a must
                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Role of brand familiarity in computer selection, June 2013
                                                                                                                              • Reviews make only a dent
                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Role of recommendations in computer selection, June 2013
                                                                                                                              • Long-term loyalty almost absent
                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Perception of quality differences between, and loyalty to computer brands, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Perception of quality differences between, and loyalty to computer brands, by household income, June 2013
                                                                                                                            • Motivations for Purchasing

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Broken machines lead motivation for purchase
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Motivation for most recent computer purchase, by gender and age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                • Key driver analysis – purchase motivation
                                                                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                                                                    • Age, 3-D drive interest in near-term planned purchasing
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Key drivers of planning to purchase computer within six months, August 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Computer Forms and Features

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Traditional laptops remain best bid for volume sales
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Type of computer most recently purchased, by year of acquisition, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Attitudes toward computer hardware, June 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Attitudes toward computer hardware, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                      • New features: Broad interest, lukewarm appeal
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Interest in new computer features, June 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: “Very interested” in new computer features, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: “Very” and “somewhat” interested in new computer features, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Impact of Gender and Age

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Young men want it all
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: “Very interested” in new computer features, by gender and age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                        • The male compromise: two machines
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Sentiments promoting the traditional laptop, by gender and age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Young men on the market most often
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Incidence of buying a computer every two to three years, by gender and age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Young men driving newest categories
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Types of PCs owned, by gender and age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Motivation for most recent PC purchase, by gender and age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Impact of Marital and Parental Status

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Partners, owners, and gift givers
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Personal ownership of a computer, by marital status and presence of children, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: “Very interested” in new computer features, by gender and parental status, June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Types of PCs owned, by gender and parental status, June 2013
                                                                                                                                        • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Asians hold unique place in market
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Household ownership of laptops and desktop computers, and average # owned, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Personal ownership of computers, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Intent to purchase a computer and when, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Cost of computer most recently acquired, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Computer brand most recently purchased, by race and Hispanic origin, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                            • Age
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Motivation for most recent PC purchase, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Computer brand intended for purchase, by age, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Gender
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Sentiments promoting the traditional laptop, by gender, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Type of PC used most among multiple PC owners, by gender, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Type of laptop and desktop intended for purchase, by gender, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Most likely replacement purchase when current PC breaks, by gender, June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Gender and age
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Type of laptop and desktop intended for purchase, by gender and age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 88: Most likely replacement purchase when current PC breaks, by gender and age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Parental status
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 89: Type of laptop and desktop intended for purchase, by parental status, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 90: Sentiments promoting the traditional laptop, by parental status, June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Household income
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 91: Motivation for most recent PC purchase, by household income, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 92: “Very interested” in new computer features, by household income, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 93: Sentiments promoting the traditional laptop, by household income, June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 94: Motivation for most recent PC purchase, by race and Hispanic origin, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 95: “Very interested” in new computer features, by race and Hispanic origin, June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Responses by type of PC owned
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 96: Types of PCs owned, by types of PCs owned, June 2013 (part 1)
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 97: Types of PCs owned, by types of PCs owned, June 2013 (part 2)
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 98: Type of PC used most among multiple PC owners, by types of PCs owned, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 99: “Very” and “somewhat” interested in new computer features, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 100: “Very” and “somewhat” interested in new computer features, by household income, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 101: “Very” and “somewhat” interested in new computer features, by parental status, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 102: “Very” and “somewhat” interested in new computer features, by age, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 103: “Very” and “somewhat” interested in new computer features, by household income, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 104: “Very” and “somewhat” interested in new computer features, by parental status and presence of children in household, June 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                                                                              • Interpretation of results
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 105: Planning to buy a desktop or laptop computer—key driver output, June 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Social Media

                                                                                                                                              • Brand ownership
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 106: Brand ownership, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 107: Dell ownership, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 108: Lenovo ownership, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 109: HP ownership, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 110: Acer ownership, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 111: Ultrabook ownership, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 112: Chromebook ownership, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Activities done
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 113: Activities done, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 114: Dell – Activities done, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 115: HP – Activities done, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 116: Acer – Activities done, by demographics, June 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Online conversation
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 117: Online mentions selected PC brands, Tier 1, by week, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 118: Online mentions selected PC brands, Tier 2, by week, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 119: Mentions by page type selected PC brands, by tier, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 120: Mentions by type of conversation, selected PC brands, by tier, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 121: Major areas of discussion surrounding PC brands, by page type, July 22, 2012-July 21, 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                              • Acer Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                              • Dell Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Hewlett-Packard Company
                                                                                                                                              • Lenovo Group Limited
                                                                                                                                              • LinkedIn
                                                                                                                                              • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                              • Red Bull North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                              Laptops and Desktop Computers - US - August 2013

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