Retrevo Survey Says Apple Loses Back-to-School Laptop Shoppers to Netbook & PC

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – August 18, 2009 – Retrevo, the consumer electronics marketplace, released today a new Gadgetology study indicating 34% of students buying laptops are planning on purchasing small, lightweight netbooks. Another 49% are buying full-sized PC laptops. The majority of student laptop shoppers will not consider buying a Mac.

“While Apple has done well historically in the education market, 2009 marks the dawn of the netbook,” says Vipin Jain, Retrevo CEO. “Students told us they wanted longer battery life, smaller size, and a lighter laptop. 58% of them plan on spending less than $750.00. Only 18% have a budget over $1,000.00. Netbooks are affordable; some costing only $170.00. In contrast, Apple laptops start at $949.00. At a time when many people are experiencing economic hardship, having a new Apple laptop isn’t a necessity.”

To help shoppers navigate deals Retrevo released a new online laptop catalogue with an exclusive section for students. “Retailers are working overtime to attract students,” says Jain. “Wal-Mart expanded its laptop selection by 40% and partnered with Hewlett-Packard to make a $298.00 Compaq Presario. Best Buy introduced the Next ClassTM laptop line. The problem this year isn’t finding deals; it’s finding the best product for your budget. Retrevo can help.”

Retrevo also introduced a Twitter shopping service giving in-store laptop shoppers a second opinion. “Retrevo is a product search engine and we’re in a good space,” says Jain. “With companies like Microsoft and Yahoo merging their search businesses, everyone is in search of a better search. And with 71% of students paying for their laptops either with parents or on their own, we’re not just giving people a better search, we’re giving them money saving answers.”


This Retrevo Gadgetology study was conducted internally, from a random sampling of Retrevo’s 4 million monthly visitors. People were also encouraged to visit Retrevo and take the survey through online student groups on sites like FaceBook and LinkedIn. The sample size was 300+ distributed across gender, age, income and location across the United States.  Standard deviation for most questions was 0.498 with a standard error of 0.029.


Respondents who were not students were exited from the survey.


Key Survey Data


In Fall 2009, will you be in:

High School: 17%
Community College: 13%
4 Year University Program: 39%
Graduate School: 18%
None: 13% (If respondents were not going to be students in 2009, the survey exited them at this point)

If you or your parents were to buy a laptop this year, what would you buy?

An Apple Laptop: 17%
A Small Lightweight Netbook: 34%
A Full-Sized PC Laptop: 49%

If you were to buy a laptop, how much would you plan to spend?

Sub $500: 22%
Between $500 - $750: 36%
Between $750 - $1000: 24%
Over $1,000: 18%

If you are planning on buying a laptop, who will pay for it?

My Parents: 29%
Myself: 48%
Both 23%

Features in order of importance (scale of 5-1, 5 = most important)

4.174 Battery Life
3.669 Screen Size
3.357 Weight
3.293 Ability to watch movies
3.179 Style
2.699 Gaming


About Retrevo

Every month millions of people visit Retrevo (www.retrevo.com), the ultimate electronics marketplace that makes finding, buying and using electronics products such as TVs, GPS units and even LCD Monitors and Corded Telephones, simple and fun. For additional information please visit Retrevo’s Press Center: http://www.retrevo.com/content/media