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Laptops now outselling desktops

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — In a sure sign that the era of mobile computing has arrived, notebooks have for the first time outsold desktops in the United States in a calendar month, the research firm Current Analysis says.

After tracking sales from a sampling of electronics retailers, Current Analysis says notebook sales accounted for 53 percent of the total personal computer market last month, up from 46 percent during the same period last year.

San Diego-based Current Analysis does not follow worldwide personal computer sales.

Spurring demand for notebooks is their overall price drop as quality has improved, says Sam Bhavnani, senior analyst for Current Analysis. “Just a few years ago, the performance of notebooks was nowhere near where it is today,” he said.

Notebook prices fell 17 percent during the past year while desktop prices dipped only 4 percent. Some of the features common in most notebooks are longer-lasting batteries, CD burners and wireless capability.

The computing crowd is increasingly requiring mobility.

Last year, 80 percent of notebooks offered wireless; this year, it’s 95 percent, Current Analysis says.

“There used to be a time when people expected a reply to an e-mail within a couple of days. Now they expect a response within 24 hours. People want to stay connected wherever they are,” said Bhavnani.

Notebooks will continue to grab bigger shares of the PC market, Bhavnani predicted. “You’re not going to see the desktop go away though.”

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