1. Market overview
In 2011, with the impact of the downturn of the economic environment in the overall market, and the tablet PCs, smart phones and other mobile terminal devices with similar functions, the Chinese laptop market sales still increased compared with 2010, but growth was slowing down even if there was a large number of promotion activities during the winter and summer vacations, “October” Golden Week and other traditional sales season also attracted many users’ eyes, but the market still fell short of expectations.
2. Brand structure analysis
In 2011, the overall Chinese laptop market, Lenovo led the market with 31.6% of the proportion of the users’ attentions with the significant advantages compared to other brands. Asus and HP got the silver medal and bronze medal, attracting 12.7% and 11.5% of the users’ eyes, competition was fierce. Acer with 10.2% followed in fourth place. Dell ranked fifth with 6.5%. 2011 Chinese home laptop market, Lenovo, Asus and HP were the top three brands, the cumulative proportion of the users’ attentions of these 3 brands was almost half. Lenovo with 23.7% ranked the top spot, but the advantage was not as good as its outstanding in the overall market. ASUS acted better in the home market than in the overall market. In fourth place, Acer with 9.3% was just behind the third place HP 0.7%. Dell ranked fifth in the home laptop market. In the business laptop market, users’ attentions were relatively more focused. According to the ZDC data, in 2011 Lenovo with the ThinkPad series gained attentions of more than 60%. The second place HP was doing very well, attracting 20.2% of the users’ eyes. Dell, Asus and Sony ranked third to fifth place.
3. Product structure analysis
4000-4999 RMB laptop products were often the most cost – effective, and encompassed a variety of mainstream products in the market. In 2011, 4000-4999 RMB products attracted 37.5% of the users’ attentions followed by 3000-3999 RMB products with 22.3%. At the same time 5000-5999 RMB and 6000-7999 RMB products attracted more than 10% respectively. With the practicality and cost-effectiveness, laptops for students were still the most popular products in 2011, welcomed by the students and home users, and attracted almost half of the users’ attentions. The popularity of the laptops for business and the laptops for game was also relatively high. The lightweight laptops, the laptops for daily office and the laptops for fashion beauties attracted respectively less than 10%
4. Price trend analysis
Affected by the winter and summer vacations, “October” Golden Week, new products and many other factors, the 2011 laptops market price index fluctuated, but on the whole it maintained a downward trend. Making the price level on Jan. 1st, 2011 of 100.00 points as a benchmark, the laptops market price index remained below 100 points, and in October, the lowest closed to 88.00 points. At the end of 2011, the laptops market price index ended at 91.46 points. In 2011, the Chinese laptops market product average price and the price index trend were consistent, although every month fluctuated, but the average price still dropped in general. In April, the average price of laptops reached the peak of 5078 RMB; in September, the average price of laptops fell to the lowest value of 4729 RMB. In December, the average price of laptops reached to 4851 RMB, with a 28 RMB slight decline compared to January. Although the positioning of the home laptops products was diverse and these various products were able to meet the needs of users of different classes, but the cost-effective products were the most. In 2011, the Chinese home laptops product average price trends with the overall market remained the same, but the price level was always lower than the overall market for 100-300 RMB. In December, the home laptops market average product price was 4546 RMB, 224 RMB lower than the January. The level decline was more significant than the overall market by 4.7%. Compared to the average price level of the overall market and home market products were dropping, the business laptops product average price increased with fluctuations. In 2011, the Chinese business laptops product average price remained more than 5600 RMB, in March, it reached a minimum value of 5630 RMB, but in July and August the average price of products exceeded 6,000 RMB. At the end of 2011 the business laptops average price level rose again, eventually ended in 5878 RMB, 94 RMB higher than the average price in January, up 1.6%.
5. Analysis of the mainstream manufacturers
In the mainstream laptop brands, the number of commercial products of Lenovo, including the ThinkPad series, accumulated up to 703 models in 2011, far ahead of other brands. ASUS, HP and Acer, the number of commercial products were 191 models, 151 models and 127 models. Dell and Hasee had less than 100 models. The rate of user’s attentions to a single product of the mainstream laptop brands, Dell with 0.09% was relatively high, followed by HP and Acer with the same 0.08%, and Asus reached 0.07%, the single product competitiveness of these 4 brands was slightly stronger. In contrast the single product competitiveness of Hasee and Lenovo was slightly weak, and the Hasee single product reached about the rate of 0.05%, while Lenovo, due to the large number of commercial products, was only 0.04%
6. Market trends forecast
In 2011, China sustained in an inflationary environment, part of the market demands were suppressed. The laptops are durable consumer goods, so consumer demands were decreased. Although the country has issued a series of regulatory policy, it is expected that the phenomenon of inflation in the short term will continue. For the laptops market in 2012, demands will rise, but the increase is relatively moderate. Thailand as the premier global hard disk-producing country, suffered floods in 2011, the global market was significant impacted. Although from the end of 2011, the hard disk inventory of manufacturers made the impact of flood manageable, but after the inventory is sold out, the influence caused by the hard disk shortage will be highlighted, the laptops sales and prices will have fluctuations. The impact of the rapid development of the Tablet PC on the laptops market had reflected in 2011. In 2012 Tablet PC market will sustain rapid development, and will continue to put pressure on the laptops market. The rapidly growing popularity of laptops, allows users to not only take it as a work, learning tool, and will pay more attentions on its entertainment functions. According to the statistics of the ZDC, the popularity of laptops for students has declined, and the laptops for game and the Ultrabook product will take that. By 2012, the laptops for game and other products positioning of entertainment will be hotter, manufacturers will follow the market trend to promptly adjust their development strategies, and increase investment on the market. Cost-effective products have occupied a mainstream position in the laptop market, and with the popularity of laptops, the product component costs decline, the average price of laptops is falling. The estimated 2012 average price of laptops will continue to show a slight downward trend, popularity of products more than 4000 RMB will continue to decline.