US consumers named Apple as the most likely brand of their next notebook purchase, but a resurgent Dell easily captured future honours for desktop PCs, according to a survey pu">

US consumers pick MacBook as their preferred next laptop

Gregg Keizer
20 August, 2013
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US consumers named Apple as the most likely brand of their next notebook purchase, but a resurgent Dell easily captured future honours for desktop PCs, according to a survey published today.

The findings from UK-based YouGov and its BrandIndex polling on purchase plans pegged Apple as the top-vote-getting laptop brand, named by 26 percent of the eligible US consumers. Apple’s notebooks include the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines.

Apple’s 26 percent, an average of the scores received in the quarterly surveys so far in 2013, was down from 2012′s and 2011′s higher 28 percent.

In notebooks, Dell and HP followed in second and third place, with 22 percent and 20 percent of the vote, respectively.

On the desktop side – which by IDC’s estimates, will account for about 42 percent of total PC sales worldwide in 2013 – Dell won 35 percent of the votes as the brand for purchases planned in the next 60 days.

HP took second place with 26 percent, while Apple won just 17 percent of the desktop votes.

Lenovo, which by IDC’s shipment estimate was the world’s biggest PC maker, garnered just four percent of the future laptop purchases and only one percent of planned desktop buys in YouGov’s poll.

There’s clearly a difference between YouGov’s forecast of planned purchases and industry research firms’ estimates of personal computer shipments to the US. In large part that’s because YouGov only solicits consumers’ opinions, while actual shipments include not only systems aimed at consumers, but also businesses.

And businesses buy the bulk of PCs.

Nor was YouGov able to confirm or contradict the trends that others have highlighted for over a year now – that personal computer sales in the US have stalled.

Last month, IDC calculated that US personal computer sales in the second quarter, which ended 30 June, were down two percent. Some computer manufacturers, naturally, did better or worse than the average. Apple, for example, was down half a percentage point year-over-year, while HP’s domestic shipments declined by four percent.

Winners included Dell, which was up six percent over the same quarter the year before, and Lenovo, the shipments of which to the US climbed nearly 20 percent.

“Apple has an edge, in that it identifies an entire class by itself,” said Ted Marzilli, the global manager for BrandIndex, a brand awareness and consumer perception service. “All the rest are part of the larger PC ecosystem.”

Apple also likely benefits in future purchase polls, said Marzilli, because the company’s ad awareness – how many respondents say they’ve seen a brand’s advertising in the past two weeks – of nearly 30 percent was almost double that of Dell and HP.

Apple last refreshed a notebook line in June when it unveiled new MacBook Air laptops packing Intel’s latest Core processor, dubbed ‘Haswell’, which boosted battery longevity claims by as much as 80 percent.

Most pundits expect Apple to debut new MacBook Pro laptops before the start of the US holiday selling season.

Laptop purchase plans chart

In the 1 July to 13 August span, Apple was the preferred brand for US consumers who said they planned to buy a notebook computer in the next 60 days, but Dell was very close behind. (Image: BrandIndex.)

by Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

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