I have been a gapper for 5 years, and 3 of those 5 years have been spent working as the data specialist in the Notebook category. One of the things that makes this category so unique is the sheer volume of new products that appear week in and week out, and the duration that those products remain on the shelf. gap intelligence has tracked notebooks since 2010 and since then has amassed over 39,000 products that live in our specs database! The life cycle of notebooks tends to be a bit shorter than most other categories, partially due to the constant push of new models. Between e-commerce and retail, anywhere from 40 to 300+ notebooks can roll out to those in the market for a new notebook in any given week.
gap intelligence has tracked notebooks since 2010 and since then has amassed over 39,000 products that live in our specs database! Between e-commerce and retail, anywhere from 40 to 300+ notebooks can roll out to those in the market for a new notebook in any given week.
Below are a few stats showing the huge numbers of notebooks that entered the market in 2015 and a bit about their life cycles. Although it may seem like an apples to oranges comparison, I compared these numbers to some of our other categories. We track several categories in consumer electronics and the home appliance markets here at gap and it's pretty interesting to see how different each category’s product life cycle and the number of products in their respective channels can vary.
The Wild World of Product Debuts
In 2015, 5,830 notebooks made their debut. Of those debuts, 605 (9.63%) were discontinued by the start of 2016.
An average of 114 products debuted each week with highs of 322 debuting during the week of February 1, 2015, 229 the week of January 11, 2015, and 228 the week of January 18, 2015. That makes for a busy first couple months of the year with the launch of these products following the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), held in Las Vegas.
The lowest number of notebooks debuting in a given week in 2015 was 41. Interestingly, this was in the first week of the year, right before CES took place.
If those numbers don’t seem like a lot, take a look at some of the other categories we track:
In 2015, 342 refrigerators debuted in the marketplace. Of those, 42 (8.14%) were discontinued by the start of 2016.
An average of 7 refrigerators debuted each week with a high of 20 on September 6, 2015 which was likely due to Labor Day sales. There were even 7 different weeks in the year when only 1 refrigerator made its debut.
As for the TV category, 702 new models debuted in 2015. TVs typically have a yearlong life cycle starting in March. With that, none of the new products from 2015 have been discontinued yet.
Product Life Cycles: The Long and Short of Things
As I mentioned before, Notebooks tend to have a shorter life cycle than many other categories. For the same categories above I explored the average duration that products tend to stick around in any of the three channels we track (e-commerce, retail.com, and brick & mortar retail) that launched between 2013 and 2015. Any products that still have a price in any channel were excluded since their life cycles have yet to be come to a close.
Average Weekly Life Cycles
Notebooks – 40
Refrigerators – 71
TVs – 60
As the data specialist for notebooks, I see more notebook models than I could ever imagine. From the high priced gaming notebooks to the lower priced chromebooks, each comes equipped with a set of specs that make it a little bit (or a lot) different from the next model. I wonder how many of these notebooks are sitting in a warehouse somewhere because their life cycles have come to an end and they have been replaced by newer, better models. I'm sure I will never know… Well, I better get back to filling out specs for the 100+ new models that came in this week.