ACNielsen Survey Shows Repeat Buyers Account for Bulk of PC Sales - TheStreet

ACNielsen Survey Shows Repeat Buyers Account for Bulk of PC Sales

Most of those buyers were adding a second computer to the home, not replacing an outdated one.
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Bill Gates'

goal of a PC on every desktop just got outdated. The new goal appears to be two in every home, according to a survey released today by



, the market research firm.

Repeat buyers accounted for 70% of personal computer sales in the second quarter, the survey shows. And almost 60% of repeat buyers were adding a computer to their homes, not replacing an outdated one.

The survey shows that 32.5% of all U.S. households owned more than one computer in the second quarter, compared with 30.9% in the first quarter.

But Gates' goal may never be achieved in the home. Computer ownership is reaching the saturation point, even though only around 53% of U.S. households own one, said Paul Kline, manager of the survey.

"They may never approach the penetration of the TV or the VCR," Kline said. The expense is a barrier for some households, while others may just be technophobic, he said.

One result of the changing consumer demands is computer makers' shifting approach to cater to the quick growth in multiple-PC ownership, and the stagnant growth in first-time buyers.

"There's been a march toward style in the PC industry," Kline said. "They're looking to make these things more a part of the home."

The survey also found that for nearly 30% of shoppers, the most important factor in the choice of computer was price. In the second quarter, 5% of U.S. households bought a new computer.

ACNielsen surveyed 55,000 households that it had recruited to match the demographic and geographic makeup of the country. Participants ran a scanner across all their purchases, and the company collected the data and asked follow-up questions.