Laptop computers are primarily targeted to the working population in the US, who are at their young age, i.e. professionals who have recently joined the corporate, and students who are shortly to join the business sector in the country. …
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Correspondingly, the demographic features which need to be considered when assessing the product positioning in the US market includes the age-group, the income level and the lifestyle choices of the targeted consumers. The current demographic scenario in the US can be observed as partially favourable and partially challenging for laptops, from a generalised perspective. For instance, in majority of the nations, the median age-group of the population has been observed to be around 27 years to 38 years as on 2010. This signifies that laptops must have many consumers in the US market (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). However, income inequality is observed at an increasing rate in the US which creates a strong negative impact on the demand for laptops and other portable PCs (The Huffington Post, 2013).
Nevertheless, in the current market context, the employment rate of the US tends to be increasing which in turn is quite likely to be contributing towards greater demand for computer products that can suffice the regular job requirements of the young population [refer to figure 1] (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). It is worth mentioning in this context that it has been fundamentally after the recessionary phase that the US demographic environment had to witness a sudden and apparent shift in the income distribution, wherein the household income within the nation has been observed as declining significantly [refer to figure 2] (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor & Smith, 2012).
Figure 1: Unemployment trend in the US Source: (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013) Figure 2: Real Median Household Income by Race and Hispanic Origin Source: (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor & Smith, 2012) 2.0. Reasons for Laptop’s Declining Popularity in the US 2.1. Sociological, Demographic and Ethnic Factors The US demographic environment has been witnessing significant fluctuations, especially since the post-recessionary period. These changes can be affirmed as the major cause for the declining demand of laptop products in the US. As a matter of fact, sociological factors, demographic factors and ethnic factors create a strong impact on the US laptop market. Notably, the US demographic and social environment currently comprises a major proportion of boomer and mature consumers aged around 35 years to 40 years [refer to figure 3] (Deloitte, 2012). Figure 3: Consumer Preferences for Laptops over Tablets Source: (Deloitte, 2012) As can be observed from the above diagram, with the increasing age, consumers tend to prefer other technology gadgets more than laptops. It might be owing to the factor that with the increasing level of maturity, consumers tend to grow their negotiation as well as consumption power to purchase more advanced technology products than the laptops. Additionally, the income distribution of ethnic communities in the US (as illustrated in figure 2), irrespective of their differences have been declining since recession. This might also be a major cause owing to which the demand for laptops has been falling in the nation (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor & Smith, 2012). 2.2. Economic and Technological Factors The US marketers prefer and are easily attracted to unique styles and features of computers. This further raises a challenge for the laptop marketers to expand the life cycle of the product to a longer duration (Jane, 2013). As described above, the household income in the US has been declining since the occurrence of recession in the year 2008 (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor & Smith, 2012). However, when considering the level of income per capita, it can be observed that in the current phase, the percentage has been increasing which renders greater purchasing power to the citizens to avail advanced computing gadgets [refer to figure 4] (The World Bank, 2013). The
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