Retailers offered heavy discounts on laptops from various manufacturers over Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving Day, but it wasn’t enough to entice consumers. According to numbers from NPD Group, overall sales of consumer electronics during the holiday season dropped 7% from November 18th through December 22nd. The hype around the launch of Windows 8 did little to boost sales, with notebook purchases falling 11% year-over-year and holiday revenue dipping 10.5%. The low-end market was hit even harder, with sales of laptops priced under $500 falling by 16% as the market transitions to a post-PC world.
“Consumer electronics remain trapped in a weak product cycle,” said Stephen Baker, vice president, industry analysis at NPD. “Despite undeniable success in segments like soundbars, headphones with microphones, interchangeable lens cameras, cellular accessories and tablets, the inability of the CE market to find substantial new pockets of revenue looms menacingly over the industry’s future.”
Apple (AAPL) didn’t fare much better either. While the average price for the company’s line of MacBook computers increased nearly $100 to $1419, sales were down 6% year-over-year. Perhaps the only glimmer of light were sales of Windows notebooks priced above $500, which increased 4% and were the only segment to experience growth.