Consumers vote Mac for laptop buying plans

Gregg Keizer
29 November, 2010
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More than a third of American consumers planning to purchase a laptop in the next 90 days will buy from Apple, a market research company said this week.

The surge for Apple is likely being driven by the new MacBook Air, said Paul Carton, vice president of research at ChangeWave Research.

“Odds are [consumer interest is due to] Apple’s refreshed MacBook Air line, featuring a slimmer design, multi-touch glass touchpads and solid-state flash memory,” Carton said in an email.

In a November survey of more than 2,800 US consumers, ChangeWave found that of those planning to buy a notebook within 90 days, 36 percent said they would purchase an Apple system. That’s an 11-point jump from ChangeWave’s October poll and the highest number ever for Apple in a ChangeWave survey, said Carton.

In October 2009, only 22 percent of those with plans to purchase a notebook in the next three months said that they would pony up for a MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

The outlook for other major US notebook makers is bleaker.

Nineteen percent of consumers with laptop purchase plans said they would pick a Dell notebook. That’s down four points since last month, and Dell’s lowest level ever. Hewlett-Packard fared slightly better: 22 percent of those planning to buy a laptop said they would select an HP machine. Like Dell’s, HP’s number for November was down four points from the month before.

One in 10 consumers said that they plan to purchase a laptop in the next 90 days, the highest level of notebook interest in three years, Carton said.

Apple’s iPad also seems destined to sell briskly in the next three months, added Carton. According to ChangeWave’s survey, 9 percent of US consumers said they will buy an Apple tablet within 90 days.

The iPad also tops the “must have” holiday gift list, with 22 percent of consumers polled by ChangeWave naming it as the number one item on a child’s or grandchild’s wish list.

ChangeWave’s iPad results were similar to those of Nielsen, which released a survey earlier this week that said 31 percent of children aged 6-12 were hoping for an Apple tablet this holiday season.

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