Tech retail buyers discuss why laptops are selling well, and what this means for the tablet

Laptop sales ‘stronger than ever’ versus tablets – PCR Retail Advisory Board

PCR’s Retail Advisory Board discusses why laptops are selling well, and what this means for tablets.

Sales of business notebooks rose 23.8 per cent year-on-year in January 2015, according to Context, with budget and Bing models doing well. Channel sell-through is set to increase further over the next few months. 

The PCR Retail Advisory Board shares its thoughts.

Ben Miles, Buyer at Chillblast:

“We are seeing explosive growth in our laptop business. Chillblast specialises in high-end laptops for graphic design, gaming and for other “desktop replacement” tasks, although we have also had some great sales in business-use machines as well.

"A strong mobile processor offering from Intel is really helping sales, as well as the fact that now the “tablet boom” has settled down a bit, many people are finding that there are still plenty of tasks for which a tablet cannot adequately replace a laptop.

“As with desktop sales we are seeing a reduction in demand for the entry level Windows laptop, as for the most basic of uses like social media, email and browsing, a vastly cheaper entry-level tablet or Chrome/Bing/Netbook does the job just fine. We are expecting strong sales to continue for our laptop arm throughout 2015.”

Chris Innes, MD of Micro Plus Computers:

“Our laptop sales are up significantly in terms of units and average sell price. Despite the influx of budget devices using Windows with Bing, which are selling well, we have seen an increase in sales of laptops around the £800 to £1,000 price point. 

“We are also selling plenty of business laptops with Windows 7 Pro to domestic customers that just don’t want to go to Windows 8. Our retail and B2B sales of tablets are generally down and there is a definite shift away from interest in tablets and back to laptops.”

Mike Barron, UK Channel Director with Synaxon:

“From the data visible to us through our EGIS platform, we can see a fairly steady trend on business notebook sales with a peak of £1.2 million in March 2014, as expected. 

“We saw that notebooks are still outperforming tablets three to one. PC/notebook/tablet is an area that Synaxon is heavily focusing on, so we expect to see these figures rise steadily through 2015 and beyond.

“Data has been taken from our powerful EGIS reporting tool (showing tablet sales of around 300,000 in February, and notebook sales of around 900,000).”

Craig Hume, Director at Utopia Computers:

“Laptop sales are stronger than ever at Utopia. Consumers have plenty of tablets and are only replacing them when they break – they are less interested in the small performance gains to be had with the latest models. Laptops, on the other hand, offer a world of possibilities with technology and performance getting greatly improved all the time.

“We have clients who use their laptops for some pretty heavy duty work that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. I fully expect to see the laptop market continue to grow in 2015.”

Gavin Holder, Director at GHI Computers:

“Our laptop sales increased by 36 per cent in 2014 over 2013. Our tablet sales were down by 82 per cent. I expect the trend to continue as Windows 10 will drives sales of laptops."


PCR asks its Retail Advisory Panel – formed of buyers and experts – about the biggest industry trends and issues each month.

Image source: Shutterstock

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