Men More Involved in PC Purchases

When it comes to choosing which PC brand their household will buy, men make more of the final decisions than do women, according to a survey of more than 69,000 Internet users by Harris Interactive.

The study’s results show that the male head of household is involved in making the brand decision in nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of PC purchases, while the female head of household is involved in three in five (59 percent) of the decisions.

However, the pattern is different among households buying their first PC than it is among those buying an additional or replacement PC. Among first-time buyers, the female head of household is involved in 72 percent of the decisions compared with 63 percent of decisions for the male head of household. For repeat buyers, the male head of household is involved in 74 percent of decisions while the female head of household is involved in 54 percent.

The study’s results also show that different family member’s involvement does influence the PC brand purchased. When the female head of household is involved in the brand decision, Hewlett-Packard’s share is 4 points higher than overall, and Gateway’s share is about 2 points higher. When a household’s teenager is involved, shares for HP, Dell, Compaq, and Gateway are all 2 to 4 points higher than overall, while Apple’s share is 4 points lower.

“The study’s results show that family members are involved differently and that their influence results in different brand choices,” said Dave Tremblay, Director of Harris Interactive’s technology research. “For example, HP’s share is higher when the female head of household is involved in making a PC brand decision, and female heads of household are more often involved in first time PC purchases. These factors contribute to HP’s share being more than 5 points higher than their overall share among first time buyers.”

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to reach 40.15 million units in the fourth quarter of 2000, according to International Data Corp. (IDC). This represents growth of 19.6 percent versus the fourth quarter of 1999, and sequential growth of 19.8 percent from the third quarter of 2000.

“Although it’s clear consumer demand in the United States is weakening, buying in other regions remains strong,” said Loren Loverde, director of IDC’s Worldwide PC Tracker program. “PCs remain the dominant means of accessing the Internet, and a lot of people out there are still buying PCs to get online. The portables segment is also strong in all regions, boosting sales in both consumer and commercial markets.”

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