What are good data sources for laptop and PC sales?
August 25, 2009 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find detailed sales data on best-selling laptops and PCs?

I'm scoping out a research project and trying to see what kind of data I am going to be able to find. Ideally someone would hand me a database containing records of all models of laptops and PCs for sale in the US (or the world, or other countries) along with their list price and all relevant specs, and total number of units moved per year for the past few years.

Something like this already exists thanks to Amazon (best selling PCs, best selling laptops, or of course I could just pull the data straight from Amazon itself). This is a good starting point, but two main issues:
1. It only tells me what Amazon is selling, and I'm interested in what everyone is selling
2. It has sales rank, but I want absolute numbers, or at least a percentage of total sales.

I imagine this data exists but is likely not freely available on the web. I don't know where to begin looking for this sort of thing as I don't have a background in business or anything like that. I have found some stuff (IDC quarterly PC tracker, NPD Group) that might be what I want but I can't read it and it's clearly meant for businesses that can pay a lot. Being a grad student, I can't.

There are possibly resources at my University I could use (for example I have access to Forrester reports) but having spent a day or two poking around I have yet to find what I need. Before I go bothering people in the business school for help, I could use some orientation as to what's out there. Thanks.
posted by PercussivePaul to Work & Money (1 answer total)
As someone who worked for companies that spend millions on that kind of data, I know it isn't easy to find for free. Some university libraries will have older IDC/Gartner/NPD/GfK reports but not the most recent since the companies charge so much.

NPD (US Canada) and GfK (Latin America, EMEA, Asia) track point-of-sale sales in retail. Its weakness is it doesn't track the direct channel. Gartner and IDC track the whole market but don't get too granular into the model-level detail. You can sometimes see bits of data in the tech press (news.com, etc) at the end of each quarter to see OEM rankings. But if you're looking at how many HP dv2000 were sold in France, that won't be free. Unless you have a hookup with someone in the marketing/intelligence department of an OEM or retailer, you'll be out of luck. Even with a hookup, the agreements with the data houses expressly forbid giving the data to people that aren't subscribers.
posted by birdherder at 4:48 PM on August 25, 2009

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