Consumer electronics is an increasingly popular retail segment for Black Friday deal hunters, amounting to almost a quarter of total Black Friday sales last year. Cut-price laptops are considered by many shoppers to be the ultimate bargains, with retailers offering ever more tempting Black Friday laptop deals in a bid to attract customers and maintain their market share.

In 2008, at the start of the recession, laptop prices had already dropped by 8 percent – and continues to drop the following year by a further 26 percent. Last year, Windows notebook prices dropped to an all-time low – an average of $407 in November 2011 – mainly due to Black Friday deals.  The previous month, laptops had cost $487 on average, compared to $530 in January 2010.

An important factor in these falling prices is the ongoing development of new technologies and software, with manufacturers competing to offer the sleekest, fastest and most advanced devices. As new models are released and take up spots at the top of end of the price range – often selling for in excess of $1,000 – ‘older’ models quickly drop in price, even though they might have been released mere months ago.

Most electronics shoppers are also aware that they can save a considerable amount of money on laptops depending on when they shop, and hold out until the Thanksgiving weekend not just for Christmas presents, but to purchase devices essential for their everyday and working lives. For Black Friday shoppers, laptops in the $500 price category lead the pack, followed closely by those around the $400 mark, demonstrating that many consumers desire new technology, but only at competitive prices.

While in the past, many retailers may have considered releasing online deals on Cyber Monday, half of all consumer electronics were sold within the first three hours of Black Friday 2011 – up from just 13 percent in 2010. In an overrun market, vendors can no longer afford to wait to launch promotions online if they are to remain competitive; customers looking for specific items are unlikely hold back for fear of missing out. Black Friday laptop deals are, therefore, becoming the norm: they are advertised sooner to raise customer awareness, and start earlier and go on for as long as stocks last to maximise competitiveness. Most importantly these deals are increasingly consumer friendly, with higher specification laptops also offered at reduced prices. This good news for those shoppers who are looking to bring home a brand new laptop this Black Friday, and it is a trend that is set to continue for some years to come.