Apple Users Set Trends, Own Windows PCs, Says Report

Apple users as a group tend to own more devices, have mixed computer environments that can include Windows-based PCs and earn overall higher household incomes than non-Apple households, reports the NPD Group. Consequently, these Apple users are also indicators of new high-tech trends.

Apple users are a breed of their own, according to the NPD Group's newly released "2009 Household Penetration Study." The Oct. 5 study found that Apple users tend to own more devices, are more likely to have mixed computer environments and have overall higher household incomes.
Up from 9 percent in 2008, 12 percent of U.S. computer-owning households now own a Mac. NPD calls this 12 percent "decidedly in favor of mixed system environments" and reports that nearly 85 percent of them also own a Windows-based PC.
Among Apple computer households, 66 percent own three or more computers, while only 39 percent of Windows PC households do. Apple owners are also being called more mobile, as 72 percent own a notebook, compared with 60 percent of Windows PC households.
"While Apple owners tend to own more computers and more electronic devices, there is also a high correlation among Apple owners and more affluent consumer households," said Stephen Baker, an NPD analyst, in a statement.
Baker reports that while 21 percent of all consumers report having household incomes greater than $100,000, among Apple users, 36 percent do.
"With a higher household income, though, it's not a surprise that those consumers are making more electronics purchases," Baker continued in the statement. "The average Apple household owns 48 CE [consumer electronics] devices, whereas the average computer household owns about 24."
Apple owners own more electronic devices, and more types of them, the NPD Group found. While 36 percent of total computer-owning households (TCOHs) own an iPod, 63 percent of Apple households do. The iPod Touch can also be found in 28 percent of Apple households, though in just 9 percent of TCOHs.
The numbers hold up even with non-Apple products. Among TCOHs, 12 percent report owning a digital SLR, while 32 percent of Apple households do. Also, 20 percent of Apple households have a Flash camcorder, compared with 5 percent of TCOHs; 18 percent of Apple households have a 50-inch-plus LCD television, compared with 8 percent of TCOHs; and 49 percent have a navigation device, compared with 30 percent of TCOHs.
Consequently, reports the study, "Apple household owners' actions and purchases can be used by the industry as leading indicators for hot new products and adoption."
Separately, in a June customer satisfaction study from Vocalabs, Apple also came out ahead. Regarding whether a tech problem had been resolved during a call, 53 percent of Apple customers said yes, compared with 45 percent of Dell customers and 39 percent of Hewlett-Packard customers.