Global Notebook Market - Analysis

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1. Introduction

The Notebook or the Laptop industry has faced a tremendous growth in the past few years, mainly because of an increase in the disposable income by the people and secondly due to the continuous growth in technology. The notebook market has increased its sales by a huge margin and which keeps on increasing everyday. The biggest competitors in the notebook business are the likes of Apple, IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard etc.

1.1 Global Notebook Market

The PC market consists of both Desktops and notebooks. There are tablet PC’s also available but its market share is comparatively lower than that of desktops and notebooks. The Global PC market is segmented on the basis of the hardware support and IT related software support. The PC has experienced a tremendous growth in the last 3 or 4 years. The global PC market generated total revenues of $183.5 billion in 2007, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% for the period spanning 2003-2007 (Datamonitor, Global PC’s 2008). The leading brands in the market are Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Sony, Apple and Acer. All these brands deal with hardware and software support whereas Hewlett-Packard offers a complete product portfolio spanning across personal computing, imaging and printing related products and services, and technology solutions (Datamonitor, Global PC’s 2008). Even Sony has diversified its product line by producing other electronic gadgets for the consumer, such as televisions, MP3 players etc. All these companies are spread through the world trying to create a competitive advantage over the other. There are a few local PC manufacturers but their market share is comparatively very low. According to Datamonitor’s research in 2008, the volume of Desktop PC’s in the market was 59.6% and the notebook market comprised of 40.4%. The market share of apple had significantly improved in the last few months. According to Ron Schenone, Apple had an 8.5% share of the market for the 2nd Quarter of 2008; the largest vendors were HP which had 25.3% and Dell at 31.9%. But it should be noted that HP and Dell also deal in servers, image printers etc. whereas apple only concentrates on desktops and laptops, so comparatively apple has a very good share in the market with in term of PC’s.

1.2 Brief History of Apple

Though Apple is one of oldest and most successful companies, they have also completely fallen on their face on several occasions. Apple was founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs a skilled salesman and a creative thinker while Steve Wozniak who was the technically sound engineer. Wozniak made his own personal computer which Steve Jobs thought would be a commercial success and they started selling the Apple I kits commercially. After gathering sufficient capital to finance, they introduced an improved version of Apple I and called it Apple II the sales improved dramatically making both the Steve’s rich. To stay ahead in the competition in 1979, Apple initiated three projects in order to stay ahead of the competition: 1) the Apple III ' their business oriented machine, 2) the Lisa ' the planned successor to the Apple III, and 3) Macintosh (Owen W. Linzmayer, 1994). However in 1980 the Apple III turned out to be a flop because it was expensive and had a number of errors. In August 1981, IBM released their PC. Unimpressed and unafraid, Apple welcomed IBM to the PC market. Apple then released Lisa in 1983 which was inspired by the Xerox Alto. Lisa was the first computer sold to the public that utilized a Graphic User Interface (GUI). Unfortunately Lisa did not meet the target market as it was not compatible with the existing computers again. After Lisa’s downfall Jobs teamed up with Macintosh to produce a faster computer than Lisa which had a mouse also. He sold Macintosh at a lesser price in comparison to Apple III and Lisa. At that time IBM was Apple’s biggest competitor. Mac had a very good start but the sales faded very quickly, as a...
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