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Notebooks, LCDs Reach Milestones

The two stalwarts of the computer category were finally overtaken in May, as notebook computers and LCD monitors supplanted desktop PCs and CRT monitors, according to The NPD Group.

The research firm, based here, reported that dollar sales of notebook computers surpassed those generated by their desktop cousins last month, while unit sales of LCD were greater than CRT models.

“It is fitting that these milestones should occur together as they are both important components in the increased movement of the PC out of the home office and into everyday use,” said Steve Baker, NPD’s industry analysis director.

Baker noted that consumers’ desire for increased mobility and more attractive form factors were among the reasons for the change. More practical reasons also played a role. Average selling prices for notebooks fell below the $1,300 level for the first time ever, about $250 lower than during May 2002. This despite the fact that 80 percent of all notebooks have a large 15-inch screen and a CD burner, Baker said.

The LCD transition from last year was even more dramatic. In May 2003 LCDs accounted for 52 percent of unit sales and 70 percent of dollar sales compared to the 22 percent of unit and 40 percent of dollar sales generated the prior May. CRTs have been passed despite the fact that average LCD pricing is $467 or $250 higher than the average CRT. Baker attributed this to the LCD’s sleek styling.