Which buyers are bucking the recession with tech shopping plans? Where is the consumer demand?

Also see another recent TUPdate: Printing Mobile Phone Photos: The New Frontier

Which buyers are bucking the recession with tech shopping plans?

A TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts

Recession or not, what people around the world are hungering for—and apparently planning to shell out money for—is HDTVs. In the 27th annual Technology User Profile survey, HDTVs were on the top of the wish list in 14 of 16 countries among 30,889 respondents surveyed about 76 different technology products and services. Surprisingly, this HDTV interest reached uniformly across gender and included both the younger and older, unlike operating systems upgrades such as Microsoft’s Windows 7 or Apple’s Snow Leopard.

But much as they want their MTV in hi-def (or SunTV in India or Sky World News in the UK), they also put entirely practical products high on their lists, and these sometimes even stole priority from HDTVs.

The intensity of the desire for HDTVs varied, peaking in the developing nations. Globally, an average of 27 percent of online PC adults were making plans that include an HDTV, but the percentage rose to 53 percent in Brazil, and was 40 percent among China’s Urbanites, India’s Urbanites, and Russia, and 39 percent of Mexico’s Urbanites. On the other hand, only 12 percent of the Dutch and 16 percent of the Japanese were making such plans, indicating a saturated market or jaded TV watchers.

The two countries where HDTVs did not top the list were China and India. In China, the number one choice was those wireless keyboard-mouse combos. These practical devices were desired by 43 percent of the respondents, pushing HDTVs (which 40 percent planned to purchase) into second place. In India, meanwhile, everyone seemed to be planning to buy everything, pushing HDTVs (40 percent) into sixth place, behind those ubiquitous wireless keyboard/mouse combos (49 percent), digital camcorders with memory cards (42 percent), wireless mice by themselves (42 percent), wireless keyboards by themselves (41 percent), and additional RAM for their long-suffering PCs (40 percent).

The interest in upgrading operating system software varied surprisingly by gender/age group. In percentage terms, the group with the strongest interest is males age 18 to 24. However, looking more deeply, this group’s much stronger interest in so many other tech product outweighs these plans so an operating system upgrade is ranked 28th among these youngsters and ranked 6th among males 55+ and 12th among males 45 to 54.

In case you were wondering, U.S. respondents did list HDTVs as numero uno, but still only 19 percent wanted one. Number two on the list was additional RAM (14 percent), third was a digital camcorder with a memory card (13 percent), fourth was that wireless keyboard/mouse combo (12 percent) while fifth was their very own DVR/PVR digital/personal video recorder (12 percent). This may be so they can time-shift and not have to watch TV commercials.

Speaking of DVRs/PVRs, which give the users additional control over their entertainment, that device was number two on the list in Australia, Germany, England, and Japan, number three in Italy, and number four in the Netherlands and Spain. Globally, it was ranked number 8.

The wild card among products appeared to be the arguably obsolete analog camcorder. Globally, only 9 percent of respondents admitted to planning to buy one, but the rate shot to 31 percent in China, 28 percent in India, and 20 percent in Saudi Arabia. On the other extreme, demand amounted to only 1 percent in the Netherlands and Japan.

About this TUPdate

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry topics. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at https://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information about the syndicated research service, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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