Laptop introduction and research methodology

A laptop computer, or simply laptop (also notebook computer or notebook), is a small mobile computer, which usually weighs1-6 kilograms (2. 2-12 pounds), depending on size, materials and other factors. While the terms laptop and notebook are often used interchangeably, “laptop” is the older term, introduced in 1983 with the Gavilan SC. “Notebook computer” is a later coinage, which was used to differentiate smaller devices such as those of the NEC UltraLite and Compaq LTE series in 1989, which were, in contrast to previous laptops, the approximate size of an A4 paper sheet.

The terms are imprecise: due to heat and other issues, many laptops are inappropriate for use on one’s lap, and most notebooks are not the size of typical A4 paper notebook. Although some older portable computers, such as the Macintosh Portable and certain Zenith TurbosPort models, were sometimes described as “laptops”, their size and weight were too great for this category. The first commercially available portable computer was the Osborne 1 in 1981, which used the CP/M operating system.

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Although it was large and heavy compared to today’s laptops, with a tiny CRT monitor, it had a near-revolutionary impact on business, as professionals were able to take their computer and data with them for the first time. This and other “luggable” were inspired by what was probably the first portable computer, the Xerox Note Taker, again developed at Xerox PARC, in 1976; however, only ten prototypes were built. The Osborne was about the size of a portable sewing machine, and importantly could be carried on a commercial aircraft.

However, it was not possible to run the Osborne on batteries; it had to be plugged in. A more enduring success was the Compaq Portable, the first product from Compaq, introduced in 1983, by which time the IBM Personal Computer had become the standard platform. Although scarcely more portable than the Osborne machines and also requiring AC power to run, it ran MS-DOS and was the first true IBM clone (IBM’s own later Portable Computer, which arrived in 1984, was notably less IBM PC-compatible than the Compaq. Another significant machine announced in 1981, although first sold widely in 1983,

was the Epson HX-20. A simple handheld computer, it featured a full-transit 68-key keyboard, rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, a small (120 x 32-pixel) dot-matrix LCD display with 4 lines of text, 20 characters per line text mode, a 24 column dot matrix printer, a Microsoft BASIC interpreter, and 16 kB of RAM (expandable to 32 kB) However, arguably the first true laptop was the Grid Compass 1101, designed by Bill Moggridge in 1979-1980, and released in 1982. Enclosed in a magnesium case, it introduced the now familiar clamshell design, in which the flat display folded shut against the keyboard.

The computer could be run from batteries, and was equipped with a 320? 200-pixel plasma display and 384 kilobyte bubble memory. It was not IBM-compatible, and its high price (US$ 8-10,000) limited it to specialized applications. However, it was used heavily by the U. S. military, and by NASA on the Space Shuttle during the 1980s. The Grid’s manufacturer subsequently earned significant returns on its patent rights as its innovations became commonplace. Grids Systems Corp. was later bought by Tandy (RadioShack). Two other noteworthy early laptops were the Sharp PC-5000 and the Gavilan SC, announced in 1983 but first sold in 1984.

The Gavilan was notably the first computer to be marketed as a “laptop”. It was also equipped with a pioneering touchpad-like pointing device, installed on a panel above the keyboard. Like the Grid Compass, the Gavilan and the Sharp were housed in clamshell cases, but they were partly IBM-compatible, although primarily running their own system software. Both had LCD displays, and could connect to optional external printers. The summer of 1995 was a significant turning point in the history of notebook computing. 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. Prior to this point each brand used custom BIOS, drivers and in some cases, ASICs, to optimize the battery life of its machines. This move by Microsoft was controversial in the eyes of notebook designers because it greatly reduced their ability to innovate; however, it did serve its role in simplifying and stabilizing certain aspects of notebook design. Windows 95 also ushered in the importance of the CD-ROM in mobile computing and initiated the shift to the Intel Pentium processor as the base platform for notebooks.

The Gateway Solo was the first notebook introduced with a Pentium processor and a CD-ROM. By also featuring a removable hard disk drive and floppy drive it was the first three-spindle (optical, floppy, and hard disk drive) notebook computer. The Gateway Solo was extremely successful within the consumer segment of the market. In roughly the same time period the Dell Latitude, Toshiba Satellite, and IBM ThinkPad were reaching great success with Pentium-based two-spindle (hard disk and floppy disk drive) systems directed toward the corporate market. As technology improved during the 1990s, the usefulness and popularity of laptops increased.

Correspondingly prices went down. Several developments specific to laptops were quickly implemented, improving usability and performance. INDIA-BASED COMPANY: Hindustan Computers Limited is an India-based company, commonly known as HCL. HCL has annual revenues of US$ 3. 8 Billion HCL consists of two companies: HCLTechnologies and HCL Infosystems and the group is collectively known as HCL Enterprise. Founded in 1976, the company is claimed to be a garage start-up. HCL’s services include engineering, technology and application services, BPO and infrastructure management services.

It is also a systems integrator and distributor of IT hardware and telecom products. HCL Enterprise employed 41,000 staff as of September 30; 2006. The Company has operations in 16 countries. RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: Primary objectives: “To study customer preference toward various brands of laptop in Surat city” Secondary objectives: To investigate the factors that influence consumers in laptop purchase decisions. To know about Brand image of various companies Laptop. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: 1. IDENTIFICATION OF RESEARCH PROBLEM: Problem identification is one of the most important part of project.

We can also define it as heart of research process. According to the marketing research process, the first step is to identify the problem or defining the objective. My objective is to study “to customer perception towards various brands of laptop. 2. CHOICE OF RESEARCH DESIGN: Research design indicates the method and procedure of conducting research study. Research design can be done in following three types… Exploratory Research: Exploratory research focus on the discovery of new ideas and is generally based on secondary data. Discriptive Research:

Discriptive research is undertaken when the researcher want toknow the characteristics of certain groups. Causal Research: An experimental research is undertaken to identify causes and effect relationship between two variables. For this research I used the “Descriptive research design” as name suggest; the objective is to describe something on customer perception in research report. At this stage the research build some idea about sampling methods, source of data and method of data collection. Selection of research design is purely depends on find of research problem.

Research Design is a specification of methods and procedures for acquiring information needed for solving the problem 3. DATA COLLECTION AND SAMPLING: Sources of data collection: Basically there are two types of data i. e. Primary & secondary. A. Primary Data Collection: Primary data collection contains following two types of metod Observation method: It contain causal observation, systematic observation, direct observation, contrived observation. Survey Method: It contains personal interview, telephone interview, mail survey. B. Secondary Data Collection: It can be collected internal as well as external sources.

Internal Sources: Various internal sources like employees, book, sales activity, stock availability and product cost etc. External Sources: Libraries, trade publications, etc. are some important sources of external data. Here I used primary data for core purpose of project and this primary data has been gathered by survey method. Data Collection Tool: To conduct a survey of potential people structured questionnaire has been selected as instrument for gathering valuable information from the people. Questionnaire, which is used for the survey is consisting of question and checklist questions and check the people’s feedback.

Here I chosen the data collection tool is QUESTIONNAIRE. Questionnaire was used for the purpose of the data collection as the research instrument. This Questionnaire consisted of closed ended questions including rating scales Sampling Types: There are two types of sampling. A. Probability sampling B. Non-probability sampling A. Probability Sampling: Probability sampling means each unit of the universe has equal chance of getting selected the most frequently used probability sampling methods are as bellows: Simple random sampling Stratified random sampling Multi stage random sampling

Cluster sampling Multi phase sampling Replicated sampling B. Non-probability sampling Non-probability sampling contains following methods Judgment sampling Convenience sampling Panel sampling Quota sampling Here I used NON-PROBABILITY CONVENIENCE SAMPLING method. Sampling Size: Sample size means limited number of respondents covered under study from a population. Here I chosen sampling size of the research are 200 people of the surat city. Sampling Unit: The sampling unit comprises the respondent on student, Businessmen and professors. 4. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETE OF COLLECTED DATA:

For analysis of data percentage method, frequencies tables, cross tab, graphs, Charts have been used with help of Microsoft excel 5. PREPARE RESEARCH REPORT: Once the data have been tabulated, interpreted and analyzed, the researcher has to prepare a report. The report consist of findings of the research studies and recommendation also. Report writing needs some skils, which can be develop with practice. I follow certain principle while writing a report. These principles include objectivity, clarity of ideas and use charts and diagrams. A good research report should effectively communication its research findings. IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY:

This project report and survey is very helpful for knowing the consumer preference on selection of various laptops brand. This survey makes products progressive for the company. LIMITATION OF STUDY: The research area is very limited so not cover whole population. The time limit for the project is only 2 months. Lack of experts knowledge. CONCEPTUAL FRAMWORK INDUSTRY PROFILE: A laptop computer is a small, portable computer that is small enough to sit on a person’s lap. While the personal computer (PC) industry began in the early 1970’s, it was not until 1981 that the first commercial portable computer – Osborne 1 – became available.

The next big event in the history of laptops came in the summer of 1995, after which Microsoft and Intel became the standard for the software (Windows) and hardware (Intel processors) used in laptops. Over the past fifteen years, the increasing price-performance ratio, consumer preferences for mobility as well as increased hardware life has resulted in higher growth of laptops than desktops since 2004. Datamonitor forecasts that the global PC industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.

4% in market value during 2007-2012, with laptops (a sub-segment) being the major contributor to its growth. This growth is down from the 7. 6% CAGR for 2003-2007, in part due to the slowing economy. In addition to the economy, the laptop segment is expected to face increased competition from both new devices and technologies. Smart phones (iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Pre) and Mobile Internet Devices (Nokia N800 Tablet) are starting to compete with laptops due to features such as gaming, internet access and enterprise applications.

Changes in demand and new technologies will continue to alter the outlook for the laptop industry in the coming years. New demand for low cost ultraportable laptops – called netbooks – has created new competitors like ASUSTek as well as forced companies to change their business models to succeed. New technologies such as cloud computing [4] and hosted virtual desktops (HVDs) may change the requirements of the laptop industry, from powerful stand-alone laptops to less-powerful wirelessly networked laptops. This will likely affect the profitability of existing manufacturers.

The focus in this analysis is therefore on the macro- and micro- factors affecting the global laptop PC manufacturers. Since the laptop industry represents a segment of the broader personal computer (PC) market, data regarding the PC industry is also relevant in the analysis of the laptop industry. FACTOR AFFECTING LAPLOP INDUSTRY: Political Factors: The laptop and PC industry is expected to grow at a faster rate in developing countries compared to the developed countries. Therefore, changes in government policies in developing countries like India and China can affect the potential growth rates in their markets.

For instance, the removal of import duties on laptops in India in 2005 was one of the factors that resulted in a growth of 94% in laptop sales in 2005. Increasing focus on the environmental impact of high-tech trash has lead to more stringent environmental regulations on the electronics industry such as the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive. The additional testing and certification involved directly affect the supply chains for laptop and PC manufacturers, resulting in increased costs.

For instance, in Canada, the enforcement of the WEEE Directive will increase the cost of computers by $15. The increase either affects the consumer or reduces profitability for manufacturers. Economic Factors: The global economy influences various different factors that affect the growth of the PC industry. Since early 2008, the slowing global economy is one of the reasons for the decrease in business capital spending for small and large corporations, resulting in reduced demand for PCs. Gartner, Inc. forecasts a decline of 3.

8% in global IT spending, of which computing hardware spending is expected to decrease by 14. 9% in 2009. Though this decline in IT spending is likely to recover slowly during 2010, the global PC market is expected to face declining growth rates in terms of market value, from an expected 5. 4% growth in 2009 to 4. 1% in 2012. Most laptop (and PC) manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo, and Apple generate sales throughout the world and therefore currency exchange rates are an important factor as well.

The strength (or weakness) of the US dollar versus other currencies can directly affect a company’s bottom line. The economies in developing countries such as China, India, Brazil, and Latin America are growing at a much faster rate than developed countries and therefore provide better growth opportunities for computer manufacturers, since developed countries like the US and Japan have become saturated. This trend is reflected in the slower single digit growth in the last few years as opposed to the consistent double digit growth in the developing markets. Social:

Social factors such as education, preferences, income levels, and other cultural factors influence demand patterns in the different regions and therefore affect how a company operates in each region. The education and income level of users affects the brand perception of the computer manufacturers. Households with higher income have higher percentages of Apple computers. Such households are also more likely able to afford (and want) Apple computers. This has allowed Apple to continue its strategy of premium pricing and performance compared to Windows PCs, while at the same time increasing its market share of the total laptop and PC market.

At the other end of the education spectrum, new devices such as the rugged and ultraportable OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) have been developed for underprivileged users in developing countries like Africa. Thus, education levels affect both product demand as well as preference. Cultural aspects of different regions affect the occurrence of seasonal sales, which significantly affect the performance of the computer industry as a whole. For instance, in the U. S. , the periods from November-December (Thanksgiving / Christmas) and August (back-to- school) are significant earnings period. Technological:

Technological advances over the past decade, such as increased processing power with reduced power consumption and reduced cost, or the standardization of Windows and Intel in laptops, are one of the main reasons for the increase in market share of the laptop segment compared to the overall PC industry. For instance, the netbook category’s average selling price (ASP) of $300 was made possible by the low cost Intel Atom microprocessor, released in 2008. New technologies, such as hosted virtual desktops (HVD), threaten to completely change the industry dynamic, due to the possibility of cheaper computers along with lower software costs.

HVDs involve centralized computing in which the processing is done on servers instead of individual clients. Gartner, Inc. estimates that the HVD market will grow in revenue from $1. 3 billion in 2008 to $65. 7 billion in 2013 COMPETITORS AND INDUSTRY KEY FACTORS: The global PC market, including the laptop (portable) segment, is dominated mainly by the five top competitors: Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell, Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba in descending order, and together they constitute approximately 60% of the total market share (based on units shipped).

In the top 10, Apple has been gaining market share compared to Windows PCs and laptops, mainly due to its positive brand reputation. In terms of global PC volume, HP is the leader (18. 9%, 2008) followed by Dell (15. 5%, 2008). Due to the netbook segment, Taiwanese companies such as ASUSTek and MSI have increased their market share tremendously over the past two years. In order to remain competitive, all of the top manufacturers share certain characteristics, or key success factors (KSF). Efficient production and distribution capability is one of these key success factors.

Due to the reduction in ASPs of laptops (and PCs), the industry is becoming more commoditized. Therefore the primary means to reduce production costs lies in process improvement from procurement to production and supply chain. This is possible by exploiting the benefits from mass production: more bargaining with suppliers, better global distribution networks, cheaper production facilities in foreign countries, etc. Innovation and the ability to identify consumers’ needs are key success factors as well.

Moreover, the effect of these success factors has led to a consolidation in the computer industry, with the largest firms becoming bigger. For instance, the top five firms which represented 50% of the market share in 2007 now account for 60% in 2008. Based on the key success factor analysis, the weighted competitive strength assessment shows that the future market will be dominated by HP, Dell and Acer. All of the top firms in the table are pretty similar in strength, except for Apple. The lack of a netbook category, premium pricing, small global share, and

different operating system results in Apple having the lowest score. The top Windows laptops have similar scores, due to the commoditization of the industry. Thus, PC manufacturers will continue to have increased growth in the laptop segment, in part due to the international market and netbooks, but will be faced with decreasing profit margins. It is not clear whether the future demand for netbooks is sustainable and therefore, in the long term manufacturers will have to adapt by increasing the focus on the services segment. MAJOR PLAYERS: The major players in the laptop category are:

Hewlett Packard (HP) IBM Toshiba Compaq Dell Computers Sony Apple GROWTH DRIVERS: Indian Laptop market in now in sync with global market. It was in 2005 that sales of laptops surpassed the sales of desktop computers for the first time in India. The Laptop market is growing at a fast rate because of change in work life of consumers. As the need for “anytime anywhere” access to information is increasing, the sales of Laptops are also increasing. MARKET SHARE IN 2012: RANK BRAND % MARKET SHARE 1 HP 16. 0 2 LENEVO 14. 8 3 DELL 10. 7 4 ACER 10. 4 5 ASUS 6. 9 OTHER 41. 3

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