PC Peripherals Set To Proliferate In '08
By Colleen Bohen -- TWICE, 1/7/2008
NEW YORK — Computer sales are on the rise year-over-year, according to
data from research firm The NPD Group. In the 12 months ending in October 2007,
the United States saw a combined total of $13,784,799,416 in dollar volume at retail
between desktop and notebooks. This number is up from $11,530,302,757 the year before
and $10,146,238,821 in the same period ending October 2005.
As the years progress, U.S. consumers appear to be continuing to ramp up their notebook
purchases at the expense of the desktop category, at least in terms of dollar volume
share. In the 12 months ending October 2007, NPD reported that the desktop category
only saw 27.2 percent dollar volume share compared with 72.8 percent dollar volume
share received by the notebook category.
This uptick in notebook sales is expected by analysts to have a continued effect on the
computer accessories market.
Display Search analyst John Jacobs likened the growing notebook category to what he
called the "iPod economy," in essence indicating that he expects a mini industry to
evolve purely based on providing notebook attachment products.
Jacobs told TWICE, "The market for notebook accessories, I think, will continue to
grow." He listed a variety of categories in which he sees potential including
docking stations, keyboards, mice and bags. "We've seen the variety of carrying
cases for notebooks in the last years just explode," he said.
Steve Baker, industry analyst for The NPD Group, also spoke to TWICE about the
computer accessories market.
"In general, mice and keyboards are doing relatively well," he said. "There's a
strong market for notebook mice."
Baker also said that he saw "a strong niche for gaming," "a nice replacement market"
and "relatively affordable prices."
He mentioned a few categories he thought might face challenges in the future.
For instance, he said, "Cable sales are going down because more things are wireless."
Baker also said that USB connectivity products might begin to take a hit as computer
design evolves. "Things are declining [there] because so much of that is built in to
the PC now. You don't need to buy as many hubs," he said.
He did later mention that there could be potential for smaller USB hubs designed for
In general, there are a variety of new accessories hitting the marketplace for both
desktop and notebooks. Following is a smattering of some of the latest additions to the category:
JDI Technologies has introduced its GoldX
XPO device, a memory solution for users looking to
transport data without having to bring a PC along. The USB-connected device uses single-level
cell NAND flash memory. According to the company, it can function independently of a PC.
The XPO uses of swappable tips
to provide a customizable solution for multiple device
configurations." The product is expected to be available in
the first quarter for less than $140