Executive Summary



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Market Report – Laptop Computers
Luke Harrison, Jacob Bottomley & Jack Brook

5th December 2014


Executive Summary


Looking at laptop computers, there seems to be 4 key markets. There are basic notebooks used for everyday web browsing and social media. There are gaming laptops, which are designed to specifically enhance the gaming experience. Also, ‘standard’ laptop computers which would more often be used in business for web browsing, research, communication, word processing, office based processing (Excel) as well as entertainment. In addition to these, there are also a more exclusive laptop which are produced by Apple. They are the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, which seem to be trade specific (design, music etc.…) with these you get what you pay for, a high performance and quality for a high price.
We are looking at the more ‘standard’ kind of laptop which we think suit people between the ages of 16-30, both male and female, who are studying at college or university or have moved out of University into quite an academic business-like field. The laptops we are looking at are seen as a general all rounder as mentioned earlier. Despite this, the laptop computers we are focussing on are:
ASUS X550CA 15.6”

Intel Core i5-3337U Processor

Windows 8

4GB RAM


1TB Hard Drive

£399.99
HP Pavilion 15-P0785A 15.6”

Intel Core i3 403OU

Windows 8.1

1TB Hard Drive

8GB RAM

£399.99
Acer E5571 15.6”

Intel Core i3 4005U

Windows 8.1

8GB RAM


1TB Hard Drive

£379.99
Toshiba Satellite Pro 15.6”

Intel Core i3 405U

Windows 8.1

8GB RAM


1TB Hard Drive

£389.99

(Pcworld.co.uk, 2014)


As you can see, each laptop is of very similar specification and price therefore each are rival products. None of the companies who supply the laptops are based in the UK or even Europe.

Acer – Taipei, Taiwan (Acer-group.com, 2014)

Asus – Taipei, Taiwan (History, 2014)

HP – California, USA (www8.hp.com, 2014)

Toshiba – Tokyo, Japan (Toshiba.co.jp, 2014)

The turnover history from 2009-2013 is as follows in billions (USD$)





NET

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

ASUS (Marketwatch.com, 2014)

12.48

16.49

16.58

22.46

21.45

HP

(Marketwatch.com, 2014)



8.76

7.07

12.65

5.11

5.01

Acer (Hoovers.com, 2014)

0.352

0.514

-0.216

-0.099

-0.683

Toshiba (Ycharts.com, 2014)

13.264

0.971

6.313

4.107

3.540



For the PEST analysis we found:

P- Environmental issues e.g. products have such a short life cycle and new technology is developed all the time, leaving products obsolete. Producing new products all the time can be harmful to the environment through the use of none renewable energy like oil.

Laptops do not pose a real environmental threat as most of the components can be recycled and there is legislation in place such as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) in the production of the laptops that keep hazardous products to an absolute minimum.
E- Laptops are very economically viable because they are highly sought after and are a necessary part of the modern world. They are unlikely to become obsolete in the near future due to their nature. Especially the ‘all rounder’ laptops we are looking at. They will always be needed for something.
S- The style of laptops is important. People are always looking for the latest trends. They want them to be as thin and light as possible but still perform to a high level with a crisp display. It is important to take into account social trends and shifts in styles.
T- Laptops must always compete and keep up with the latest trends in technology. Money must be spent on the research of contemporary technology and laptops must always break barriers in their technological development. Since the number of laptops produced and sold is so great, technology is always moving. It is important to keep up with ever changing technology to maximise profits.

Below displays the position of the product we are researching on the market.



Product Placement:



We believe that the standard laptops that we are studying, that can perform as an all rounder, will be of a slightly high price and provide an above average quality. In relation to a notebook it would be of far better quality and a higher price, but in relation to a gaming laptop, which is specifically built for a certain hobby’ it would be of both lower quality and expense, where as a MacBook would be of far more expense and far more quality, technically and aesthetically.


Below is where we believe the Asus, Acer, Toshiba and HP laptop fall in relation to each other.


Based on the specification of each product and the price they are we believe that the above product placement is appropriate. Both the HP and the Asus laptop are the same price, however the Asus has a better processer, an i5 processor as opposed to the HP’s i3. The amount of RAM slightly differs but they both have a 1TB hard drive.

We found that the Toshiba and the Acer are lower down on both price and quality. They are £379.99 and £389.99 respectively and both have an i3 processor and 8GB RAM as well as a 1TB Hard Drive.

SWOT Analysis:



Strengths: Cheap and easy to manufacture with a relatively short life span, therefore people will buy a new laptop quite often, maybe every 3-4 years. Also the convenience of laptops is another huge strength, people will buy them as they are easily portable and simple to just slide in a bag to take anywhere, therefore you aren’t always relying on external memory e.g. memory sticks, discs, hard drives when on the go.
Weakness: Some people will see the short life span as an issue and may chose to spend more money on a higher performing and longer lasting computer. They may opt for a desktop or a more prestigious type of laptop like a MacBook. Despite the products we are looking at being very strong all rounder’s, the price for something that may not last more than 4 years can be a put off. Also, laptop computers are susceptible to various viruses and technological issues. The cost of repair can always be a put off therefore long warranties on purchase may be something that you would have to look into providing when manufacturing and selling laptops.
Opportunities: Everyone has a fear of their laptop becoming riddled with viruses and losing all their work, so it would be possible to sell the laptop as a package with a certain brand of anti-virus software e.g. Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky. In addition to this, people always want accessories for new gadgets that they purchase. There would be opportunity for laptop bags, cases and skins. Should the manufacturer of the laptop brand them, they could sell for more than an everyday run of the mill accessory because they are putting their trust in a stellar product by a reputable company.
Threats: The rise of tablets, now being advertised with Microsoft Office may be a threat in the near future, given that despite the convenience and portability of the laptops we have studied, tablets are clearly even more convenient and portable. People will put their trust in the more reputable brands like Lenovo, Amazon Kindle and Samsung.

BMG Analysis

For the BMG analysis, we found as displayed below:




We believe that as a new product, the ‘all round’ laptops we have studied will be an instant hit. A reasonable price of between £350 and £400 will help them become ‘stars’. People will put their trust in a reputable brand for a familiar product and it will fast become a big seller as laptops are always in demand.
However, we also think that the laptops we have looked at will have time to become a ‘cash cow’. This is because of the ever changing and rapid movement of technology means new laptops will be manufactured and released ever 6-12 months. Therefore, a certain kind of laptop will never have time to become a cash cow as there will always need to be a lot of money spent on marketing to push new products and technology.
After approximately 12 months, following the release of new laptops with updated technology we think the laptop will go to the ‘dogs’ and inevitably fall off the market. We accept this based upon the ever-changing world of technology and the small life span of a laptop computer.

Summary

Taking into account the above information, it is clear to see the popularity of the ‘all round’ laptops we are looking at. It is clear to see that they will sell well based on the figures of the last 5 years. It was only Acer who failed to make a profit in 2011, 2012 and 2013. They did, in fact, lose money. Asus, HP and Toshiba all managed to make astonishing profits each year.

Also with the inexpensive manufacturing costs and short life span, coupled with the large demand they are a great product with limited political, economical, social and technological issues.

Furthermore, it seems that in the product placement analysis there is direct correlation between the price paid and the quality received therefore providing excellent value for money, something that can be a key selling point.


Bibliography

References

Acer-group.com,. (2014). Products & Services. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www.acer-group.com/public/index/officelist.htm
History, A. (2014). Asus Company History | Gadget Reviews.

Mylaptopyourlaptop.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://mylaptopyourlaptop.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/asus-company-history.html
Hoovers.com,. (2014). ACER INCORPORATED | Revenue and Financial Reports. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www.hoovers.com/company-information/cs/revenue-financial.Acer_Incorporated.45595d2bab5136ae.html
Marketwatch.com,. (2014). ASUSTeK Computer Inc. GDR. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/ASUUY/financials
Marketwatch.com,. (2014). Hewlett-Packard Co.. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/hpq/financials
Pcworld.co.uk,. (2014). Laptops - Gaming , Ultrabook & Cheap Laptops | PC World. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/laptops-netbooks/laptops-703-c.html
Toshiba.co.jp,. (2014). Toshiba : Offices. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www.toshiba.co.jp/worldwide/about/offices/

Www8.hp.com,. (2014). Headquarters | HP® Official Site. Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/about-hp/headquarters.html


Ycharts.com,. (2014). Toshiba Net Income (TTM) (TOSYY). Retrieved 5 December 2014, from http://ycharts.com/companies/TOSYY/net_income_ttm


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