As the consumer continues to battle with over-indebtedness, price-performance is becoming a bigger issue – and end-users are looking far more closely at specifications to ensure that they do not pay too much by “buying features they will not use”.
This is according to Christopher Riley, CEO of The Notebook Company.
“End-users are really doing their homework and they are not ‘over-buying’ as much as they used to in the past.
“Users traditionally have the habit of buying laptops, and technology, that they will never completely utilise,” he says. “People generally buy laptops, from a specification point of view, that they will never fully utilise. They might use 60% of the specs and features, meaning, in effect, that they are actually overpaying.
“But during the first quarter of this year, we have seen a definite trend where users are becoming far more discerning. They are looking more closely at the specs and features of their purchases, looking at it from a stricter ‘what features do I really need’ scenario.”
Riley says that, while the sale of Apple iPads had currently dropped “around 40%” for the first quarter of the year, there had been a surge in the sale of Acer and Lenovo laptops.
“Looking at the semi-professional market we have sold a lot of Acer laptops. Specification and price is the main reason because users seem to think they are getting good bang for their buck. When it comes to the graphics and gaming market, Lenovo seems to have the edge on other products right now – also from a features and price/performance perspective.
“It will be interesting to see if Apple iPad sales increase in the second quarter of the year,” Riley adds. “We were predicting a drop in sales for the first quarter, but it looks like sales are going to drop by as much as 40% – which is far higher than we thought.
“One of the reasons for this drop could be that the iPad market is slightly saturated and that people are still recovering from overspending over the festive season.
“Additionally, Apple has introduced so many new products and models to the market over the past six months that it may have caused a certain amount of confusion – and it also might have cannibalised overall Apple sales as users who might have bought iPads have opted for other products.
“Despite this, we are expecting a pick-up in iPad sales during the second and third quarters; but I don’t think it will achieve the heights we reached in 2011 and 2012.”