Annual lists of bestselling laptop and desktop computer models?
October 25, 2013 4:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to gather data on the top selling laptop and desktop models for each year (preferably over the past 20 years and with total units sold each year in U.S. and in world). Does anyone know of a source or would be able to point me in the direction of one? Is there an industry newsletter? Ideally, I want something like "2003's Top 10 Bestselling Laptops: 1) Gateway 450: X million sold; 2) Dell Inspiron 8500: x million sold" etc, but I'm not too picky, any leads would be better than what I got now.
posted by jng to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That data is only going to come direct from the manufacturers, because of its specificity. So, unlike sales of Coca-Cola it won't get tracked at the point of sale or point of consumption. Of the research houses that track this sort of thing you're looking at Gartner or IDC probably. Even then, that's not quite Gartner's bag.

It's also incredibly hard to track over an extended time beyond the level of manufacturer because of the proliferation of models. At model or even series level, it's expensive data to maintain and of limited commercial value.

Consistent data over 20 years - unless there is a little super specialaist research house out there which absolutely makes its name on this sort of thing - nobody will have it. At manufacturer level, maybe IDC will have it for 20 years.

A good industry source is Digitimes.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:08 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Some companies don't even release this data; for example, Apple only releases "Desktop" and "Portable" sales numbers. And different policies about what makes a "model" a "model" will trip you up here too - Dell has, at various points in its history, had a zillion different model numbers, where every tiny change means a new set of digits on the end. On the other hand Apple, even if you had detailed sales figures, just has a "Macbook" which happens to come in multiple flavors that other companies would call totally different models. That's going to massively skew your figures, even if you can get them; companies that make lots of different models are going to appear lower on your sale-number list than companies that define only a couple, even if the many-similar-models sell more when combined.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:03 AM on October 25, 2013

nthing above points plus the fact there are many thousands of permutations of user-configurable upgrades that are difficult to classify consistently.
posted by turkeyphant at 6:25 AM on October 25, 2013

Great points all. Thanks for the tips. If you have leads on more general lists or sales figures, that would still be helpful. Much appreciated!
posted by jng at 7:29 PM on October 25, 2013

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