Consumers Lean toward New Gadgets


The technology landscape is changing, as consumers shift their purchase habits to focus on new gadgets. At least, this is the picture presented by a recent survey from a major research firm.

Accenture,, surveyed consumers in 19 countries about their usage and spending relating to electronics technologies. The survey found purchase rates for personal computers will decline by 39% this year, while rates for tablets will rise 160%. Similarly, purchase rates for non-smartphone mobile phones will decrease 56%, while rates for the purchase of smartphones will increase 26%.

According to Accenture, 17% of survey respondents plan to buy a desktop or laptop computer in 2011. In addition, people are frequently using multiple devices for tasks they used to perform exclusively on a PC, such as emailing or browsing the Web.

“The research findings raise the question as to whether, in the long run, desktop and laptop PCs in the home will be increasingly replaced by a group of newer technology alternatives such as tablet computers, netbooks, smartphones, and e-book readers,” says Kumu Puri, a senior executive with Accenture’s Electronics & High-Tech Practice.

Puri goes on to say that while 93% of survey respondents owned a computer, the growth rate for PCs seems to have reached saturation. “There’s increasing potential for an end in sight for the relevance of the personal computer in the home as we know it today,” Puri says.

If the survey findings hold true, 2011 could see dramatic changes in the way people use computers, and perhaps even a shifting idea of what a computer is.

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