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Laptop Sales Beat Desktops for First Time 14 minutes ago

NEW YORK – Sales of laptop computers in U.S. stores outpaced those of desktop computers for the first time in May, according to a survey by market research firm The NPD Group.

Laptops accounted for more than 54 percent of the nearly $500 million in retail computer sales in May, the Port Washington, N.Y., company said Tuesday.

That compares with January 2000, when laptops represented less than 25 percent of sales volume, NPD said.

Stephen Baker, director of industry analysis at The NPD Group, attributed the surge in sales of laptop computers to a greater interest in being able to take your computer on the go.

“Key to the increased sales … are a desire for computing products that offer portability, appealing form factors and attractive design,” said Baker, noting that aggressive pricing from the likes of Gateway Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. also played a role.

“Selling prices fell below $1,300 for the first time ever, more than $250 below May 2002,” said Baker.

But laptops weren’t the only product to outperform its predecessor. NPD found that May was also the first time sales of liquid crystal displays surpassed those of traditional monitors based on cathode ray tubes.

In May 2002, LCDs were only 22 percent of total monitor sales, said NPD. This past May, that more than doubled to 52 percent. As with notebooks, the firm attributed the change to a more desirable design.

“LCDs’ slim profile and sleek looks are more appealing,” said Baker, noting that even though LCDs cost about $250 more than CRTs, consumers are willing to plunk down the money.