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Ultra-thin, hybrid PCs continue to be a hit in Korea

Posted: 29 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Gfk? ultra-thin? notebook? hybrid pc? laptops?

According to latest reports from GfK, the latest and more sophisticated laptop models such as the ultra-thin and hybrid types have become more popular with Korean consumers, making up 24 per cent of total laptop volume salesa whopping 170 per cent surge from the previous year.

The research firm found that nearly 432,000 ultra-thin notebook and hybrid PCs were sold in the country in the last 12 months. Ultra-thin notebooks, defined by its height of 21mm or less and weight of 2.3kg and below, have been garnering an increasing share of the local laptop market and in the last 12 months sold around 373,000 units worth nearly $440 million.

Moon Kwon, a managing director for GfK, stated that the lightweight segment is a hit because of its compact size, making it one of the key growth engines driving the sales of laptops. Its battery life and full functionality of a regular laptop allows users to pay more for its portability, which seems to be a non-issue with Koreans who fork out around 26 per cent more for it.

As with many other tech products, price erosion in the ultra-thin segment has been apparent, lending to its increasing affordability with time. Prices since the first such product became available in the market around 2007 has been gradually declining, from its initial average price of $1,468 to $1,179 in the latest report; translating to a price drop of nearly 20 per cent.

Yet another product which was launched recently and has been turning in a stunning report is the hybrid PC, which is a notebook that comes with a complete operating system and characterized by its lack of or a detachable keyboard. Between April 2011 and March 2012, such laptops registered a spike in sales by over 800 per cent in volume and 600 per cent in value; totalling almost $67 million in worth.

"Hybrid PCs tend to be an appealing option for those who cannot decide whether to get a regular laptop or a tablet, since its versatility lets the user enjoy the best of both worlds by allowing it to be used as a tablet, or plug in a keyboard when required to," explained Kwon.

The growing consumer interest in these segments has correspondingly been attracting more local and international manufacturers into the market to cater to its developing needs. However, home-grown brands, with their lower pricings managed to dominate the market in 2012, contributing 77 and 93 per cent to total ultra-thin notebook and hybrid PC sales value respectively.

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