By the end of the day, the price of a laptop is the primary reason why consumers keep buying it, the industry’s chief technology officer said on Wednesday.
Laptops now account for about half of all personal computers sold, up from a third in 2010, according to the PCMark 8 survey released Wednesday by the National Association of Consumer Electronics (NACE).
“If you look at how many people buy laptops every year, they’re almost half the population, and if you look more closely at the people who buy laptops, they tend to be older,” said Robert W. Baird Jr., CEO of the NACE, in an interview on the company’s quarterly earnings call.
Baird said the industry was facing a shortage of new computers for the foreseeable future.
Laptops made up nearly 40 percent of all PCs sold last year, and they accounted for about 60 percent of the revenue in that period.
The NACES survey showed the average cost of a desktop PC in the U.S. was $8,800.
A few years ago, Baird said, laptop sales were so strong that he could count on the industry to keep adding new models every year.
“We’ve been here forever,” Baird said.
But the industry is still struggling to find buyers, he said, adding that sales of laptop computers are in decline.
“We are in the midst of a major downturn in the market for laptops,” Baird told analysts.
Laptop sales have declined for three straight quarters, and Baird said this was because consumers were more concerned about how much they would pay for their laptop instead of what it could do for them.
“Laptos are very, very expensive,” Baird added.
“I think we’ve got to do a better job of finding a better way to deliver value to people.”