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A laptop computer is a personal computer for mobile use. A laptop utilizes most of the same components as a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device such as a touchpad (also known as a track pad) and/or a pointing stick, and speakers into a single unit. A laptop is powered by mains electricity via an AC adapter, and can be used away from an outlet using a rechargeable battery. Laptops are also sometimes called notebook, computers, notebooks or netbooks.
In 1981 the Osborne Computer Company released the first portable computer and called it Osborne 1. This laptop computer, when not in use and closed up, resembled a locked up sewing machine. It was powered by an electrical connection with an optional laptop battery backup. It had two 5 ¼" floppy drives (mounted to the right and left of the display), and included a modem port. The biggest drawback was the display was only 5-inches wide and could show only a limited 52 characters per line.
Companies now create new laptops with faster processors and more features packed in smaller packages and the laptops have really come a long long way from the 1981 Osborne model. Since the 90's the technology has helped to vastly improve the performance of laptop computers. Longer lasting laptop battery as well as huge hard drives now makes the Laptop a serious challenger to oust the desktop computers from the market. The summer of 1995 was a watershed year in the history of laptop computers. In August of that year Microsoft introduced Windows 95. It was the first time that Microsoft had placed much of the power management control in the operating system. This move held a great deal in simplifying and stabilizing certain key aspects of notebook design. Windows 95 also brought in the importance of the CD-Rom drive in mobile computing, and initiated the shift to the Intel Pentium processor as the base platform for notebooks.
There are several types of Laptops. They all can be classified into the following:
Full Size Laptop:
A laptop large enough to accommodate a "full-size" keyboard (a keyboard with the minimum QWERTY key layout, plus some room on both ends for the case).
A smaller, lighter, more portable laptop. It is also usually cheaper than a full-size laptop, but has fewer features and less computing power.
These have touch screens. There are "convertible tablets" with a full keyboard where the screen rotates to be used atop the keyboard, and "slate" form-factor machines which are usually touch-screen only.
Ultra Mobile PC:
An ultra-mobile PC is a small form factor version of a pen computer, a class of laptop whose specifications were launched by Microsoft and Intel in spring 2006.
A Handheld PC is a term for a computer built around a form factor which is smaller than any standard laptop computer. It is sometimes referred to as a Palmtop.
A very thin version of a laptop. They are a higher-end subnotebook "inspired" by Intel.
Battery-powered portable computers had just 2% worldwide market share in 1986. However, laptops have become increasingly popular, both for business and personal use. Around 109 million notebook PCs shipped worldwide in 2007, a growth of 33% compared to 2006. In 2008 it was estimated that 145.9 million notebooks were sold, and that the number would grow in 2009 to 177.7 million. The third quarter of 2008 was the first time when notebook PC shipments exceeded desktops, with 38.6 million units versus 38.5 million units.
Major Brands and Manufacturers
The Macintosh or Mac, is a series of personal computers (PCs) designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984, it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface rather than a command-line interface. The company continued to have success through the second half of the 1980s, primarily because the sales of the Apple II series remained strong even after the introduction of the Macintosh, only to see it dissipate in the 1990s as the personal computer market shifted toward the "Wintel" platform: IBM PC compatible machines running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows
The Macintosh project started in the late 1970s with Jef Raskin, an Apple employee who envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer. He wanted to name the computer after his favorite type of apple, the McIntosh, but the name had to be changed for legal reasons as it was too close, phonetically, to that of the McIntosh audio equipment manufacturer. Steve Jobs requested a release of the name so that Apple could use it, but was denied, forcing Apple to eventually buy the rights to use the name. Raskin was authorized to start hiring for the project in September 1979, and he began to look for an engineer who could put together a prototype. Bill Atkinson, a member of Apple's Lisa team (which was developing a similar but higher-end computer), introduced him to Burrell Smith, a brilliant self taught engineer that worked as a service technician who had been hired earlier that year.
Apple Mac - "Think Different"
Figures from December 2006, showing a market share around 6 percent (IDC) and 6.1 percent (Gartner) are based on a more than 30 percent increase in unit sale from 2005 to 2006. Mac OS X's share of the OS market increased from 7.31% in December 2007 to 9.63% in December 2008, which is a 32% increase in market share during 2008, compared with a 22% increase during 2007.
By March 2011, OS X market share in North America had increased to slightly over 14%. Apple has positioned the Mac as a higher-end personal computer, and so it may be misleading to compare it to a budget PC. Notably, a report published in the first quarter of 2008 found that Apple had a 14% market share in the personal computer market in the US, including 66% of all computers over $1,000.
Apple introduces new products at "special events" hosted at the Apple Town Hall auditorium, and at keynotes at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Formerly, it also announced new products at trade shows like the Apple Expo and the Macworld Expo. In the past, special events have been used to unveil Apple's desktop and notebook computers, such as the iMac and MacBook. The keynotes as well as provide updates on sales and market share statistics. Apple has begun to focus its advertising on its retail stores instead of these trade shows; the company's last Macworld keynote was in 2009.
Apple Macbook usually cost between $999 (approx Rs 46, 400) to $4100 (approx Rs 2, 27,140).
Unique Selling Proposition:
Apple's unique selling proposition lies in its unique design that makes consumers think that they are the first to experience Apple Laptops. Apple makes products that are hard to copy.
Hewlett Packard (HP)
Hewlett-Packard Company or HP is an American multinational hardware and software corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. It provides products, technologies, software, solutions and services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors.
The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto by William (Bill) Redington Hewlett and Dave Packard. HP is the world's leading PC manufacturer. It specializes in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services.
The company originated in a garage in nearby Palo Alto during a fellowship they had with a past professor, Frederick Terman at Stanford during the Great Depression. Terman was considered a mentor to them in forming Hewlett-Packard. In 1939, Packard and Hewlett established Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Packard's garage with an initial capital investment of US$538. The company was originally rather unfocused, working on a wide range of electronic products for industry and even agriculture. From the 1940s until well into the 1990s the company concentrated on making electronic test equipment.
HP - Everything Is Possible
Currently, notebooks comprise about 70 percent of the company's total sales. Ultrabooks will comprise 10 percent of our total volumes in notebook segments in 2012 and 15 percent in 2013. HP, which currently has more than 50 models in its notebook portfolio, has recently hiked prices by 2 percent to 3 percent following sharp rupee depreciation against the US dollar as it imports all its notebooks from China.
The strategy focus on a results-based, data-driven model. The aim of this strategy was to give the new company a single language that enabled parts of the marketing campaign to be integrated.
HP has customers in every arena of the business world. To get the most out of its customers, the company began using the consumer as a guide to its small business and corporate initiatives. Their customers have shown a marked enthusiasm for this approach, which in turn has given HP more qualified leads and business partners. This strategy allows the company to be led by the customer.
HP Laptops usually cost between $549(approx Rs 29, 900) to $3280 (approx Rs 1, 78, 432).
Unique Selling Proposition:
The USP of HP laptops are its Hardware. Hewlett-Packard has also been at the center of a fiasco in recent years. In November 2007, Hewlett-Packard released a BIOS update covering a wide range of laptops with the intent to speed up the computer fan as well as have it run constantly, whether the computer was on or off. The reason was to prevent the overheating of defective NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) that had been shipped to many of the original equipment manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Apple.
Dell Inc. is an American multinational computer technology corporation based in 1 Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas, and United States, which develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Bearing the name of its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest technological corporations in the world, employing more than 103,300 people worldwide.
Dell has grown by both increasing its customer base and through acquisitions since its inception; notable mergers and acquisitions including Alienware (2006) and Perot Systems (2009). As of 2009, the company sold personal computers, servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, and computer peripherals.
Dell traces its origins to 1984, when Michael Dell created PCs Limited while a student at the University of Texas at Austin. The dorm-room headquartered company sold IBM PC-compatible computers built from stock components. Dell dropped out of school in order to focus full-time on his fledgling business, after getting about $300,000 in expansion-capital from his family.
Dell - The Power to Do More
Dell had between 18% and 19% share of the worldwide personal computer market, compared to HP with roughly 15%. IDC reported that Dell lost more server market share than any of the top four competitors in that arena. IDC's Q4 2006 estimates show Dell's share of the server market at 8.1%, down from 9.5% in the previous year. This represents an 8.8% loss year-over-year, primarily to competitors EMC and IBM. In 2011, The Brand Trust Report, India study revealed that Dell is ranked as the 27th most trusted brand as compared to Samsung which stood at 5th and HP which ranked 23.
Dell advertisements have appeared in several types of media including television, the Internet, magazines, catalogs and newspapers. Some of Dell Inc's marketing strategies include lowering prices at all times of the year, offering free bonus products (such as Dell printers), and offering free shipping in order to encourage more sales and to stave off competitors.
Dell Laptops usually cost between $483 (approx Rs 26, 288) to $4000 (approx Rs 2, 17, 600).
Unique Selling Proposition:
The USP of Dell Laptops is Innovation. Dell introduces the most exclusive laptops models which have the perfect combination of Screen Size, Sound Quality and Graphics.
Market Share Comparison
The Graph below shows the worldwide Laptop Market Share:
HP leads the market followed by Acer and there is a close competition between Apple and Dell.
The graph below shows the growth of market share from 2005 - 2006.
According to Fortune 500, in 2008 Hewlett-Packard was ranked number 1 in the computer and office equipment industry compared to its competitors Dell and Apple. HP is a leading global provider of technologies, products and services to consumers and businesses. Over the past years HP has developed high performance technology with a diverse product portfolio, offered strong customer service, and has decreased its prices. HP uses both fixed and dynamic price strategies in order to offer its consumers the best customer service and products.
In terms of fixed pricing, HP utilizes the promotional and bundling pricing strategies. Used as an incentive for consumers to buy more than one product, promotional pricing is used by many computer companies. HP is currently offering several discounted, free, and bundled products and services to appeal to consumers by using both the bundling and promotional price strategies.
Laptops have become a necessity nowadays. In every field PC or Laptops are used at an excess rate. Many brands have emerged in the market which are trying to get on the top, but some are a success and some are failures. Laptops have made the work much easier and convenient.
After evaluating each of the three brands, it is clear that HP holds the maximum number of shares and is most popular in the market. Also, Apple is popular for manufacturing products that are exceptional. Last but not the least Dell ranks top in manufacturing innovated products.