Desktop PCs sales trail notebooks

May was the first month that sales of notebook computers generated more revenue than desktop PCs, and buyers purchased more LCD monitors than standard CRTs, according to a study released this week by a marketing research firm.

In January 2000, notebooks represented less than a quarter of computer sales, according to the NPD Group of Port Washington, N.Y. But in May, they made up more than 40 percent of sales and 54 percent of the nearly $500 million generated by computer sales.

Meanwhile, flat-panel monitors sales made up 52 percent of total monitor sales and more than 70 percent of revenues from monitor sales in May. Flat-panels represented 22 percent of unit sales and 40 percent of revenues in May of last year.

An analyst with the NPD Group attributed the sales results to dropping prices for notebook PCs and LCD monitors, coupled with added capability such as smaller, sleeker screens and CD burners.

Also in May, NPD Group said, computer retail sales jumped 13.6 percent over May 2002, the highest rise in almost four years.

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