Consumers Pulling Back on Tech Spending

By  |  Monday, November 10, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Newsflash to those who haven’t already figured this one out: the holiday shopping season will likely suck for most retailers and product manufacturers, especially in the high tech sector. A survey released Monday by ChangeWave Research shows that few consumers expect to be purchasing desktops and laptops over the next 90 days.

Researcher Paul Carlton is describing the weakness as “a massive breakdown in consumer spending.” With the economy increasingly going south, its looking more and more like people are spending less out of a fear of what could come in this ever-deteriorating economy.

Only 8 percent of those surveyed expect to purchase a laptop in that period, and 6 percent expected to purchase desktops. This was down from 11 percent and 8 percent respectively, and are the lowest readings recorded by the firm since it began asking consumers about their computer purchasing plans.

There is some interesting news however. Dell and Apple are leading all other manufacturers when it comes to what brands consumers plan to purchase. For Dell, 37 percent of potential buyers said they were planning to purchase a desktop, and 33 a laptop. Apple’s results were stellar as well: 33 percent plan to pick up a new MacBook, while 27 percent were considering a desktop system from the Cupertino company.

Carlton express some surprise at Apple’s success — especially considering the premium prices on the company’s systems — and said it is poised to pick up further market share during the period. Consumers seem to be associating Apple’s systems with quality.

What’s working for Dell is the value aspect, something Carlton found consumers were repeatedly saying was influencing their purchasing decisions there.

A sobering note from the study: 59 percent are planning to spend less in the next 90 days, which would include the critical holiday shopping season. Only 10 percent say they will spend more.

So tell us, are you spending more or less this holiday? What’s influencing your purchasing decisions?

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