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PCs - US - January 2011

Over the past few decades, PCs have transitioned from expensive tools found only in workplaces and universities to become an essential component of U.S. consumers’ homes. Currently 82% of U.S. consumers live in households that own a PC, and more than 50% of these households own multiple PCs. As U.S. consumers increasingly embrace digital content and communications, PCs are now used for far more than basic tasks like word processing and email. Instead, consumers now often rely on PCs for access to music and video entertainment, staying in touch through social networking sites, video chatting, expressing their creativity through blogging, digital photography, video and other types of content.

However, as consumers adopt digital lifestyles many other companies and devices are seeking to capitalize on these new opportunities—and grab market share from the $31 billion home PC industry. In this report, Mintel reviews this mature yet constantly evolving market sector and identifies strategies for future growth, including:

  • Market size and segmentation
  • Competitive factors
  • Leading companies and innovators
  • Market drivers
  • Consumer behavior and needs

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Growth persists in a mature market
                      • Cell phones, home entertainment remain a competitive threat
                        • Desktops take a licking, mobile PCs keep on ticking
                          • OS, 4G and retail moves begin to reshape the market
                            • More fragmentation ahead?
                              • PC ownership stabilizes
                                • Communications and the web, key drivers of PC usage
                                  • Touchscreens still need to drive awareness
                                  • Insights and Opportunities

                                    • Introduction
                                      • There’s an app for that
                                        • Think in multiples
                                          • From HD to 3-D
                                            • Getting in motion?
                                            • Inspire Insights

                                                • Switch Off: Taking control back from technology?
                                                  • Life Hacking: Maximize efficiency with digital tools
                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • From upgrades to add-ons
                                                        • A race to the bottom?
                                                          • Strong pattern of growth to continue
                                                            • Sales and forecast
                                                              • Figure 1: Total U.S. sales and forecast for home computers, at current prices, 2005-13
                                                              • Figure 2: Total U.S. sales and forecast for home computers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2005-13
                                                              • Figure 3: Total U.S. unit sales for home computers, 2005-10
                                                              • Figure 4: Total U.S. average unit price of home computers, 2005-10
                                                            • Fan-chart forecast
                                                                • Figure 5: Total U.S. sales and fan forecast of home computers, at current prices, 2005-13
                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                              • A never-ending recession—even if it has ended
                                                                • The OS revolution
                                                                  • Figure 6: Global operating system market share, November 2010
                                                                  • Figure 7: U.S. smartphone platform market share, October 2010
                                                                • Revving up to 4G
                                                                  • Figure 8: Planned 4G technologies and projected speeds for major U.S. carriers, 2010
                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                • Phones merge with PCs
                                                                  • Figure 9: U.S. unit sales of smartphones, 2004-10
                                                                  • Figure 10: Cell phone web access and app capabilities, by age, March 2010
                                                                • TVs, set-tops get smarter
                                                                • Segment Performance

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Mobile: The way to go
                                                                      • Figure 11: U.S. home computer sales at current prices, by segment, 2008 and 2010
                                                                      • Figure 12: U.S. home computer unit sales, by segment, 2008 and 2010
                                                                  • Segment Performance—Mobile Computing

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Low prices lead to high sales growth
                                                                        • Tweener devices in a tough spot
                                                                          • Take a tablet
                                                                            • Innovation can still win
                                                                              • Notebook sales and forecast
                                                                                • Figure 13: U.S. sales of home notebook PCs, at current prices, 2005-13
                                                                                • Figure 14: U.S. sales of home notebook PCs, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2005-13
                                                                                • Figure 15: U.S. unit sales and average prices of home notebook PCs, at current prices, 2005-10
                                                                            • Segment Performance—Desktops

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Market share continues to erode
                                                                                  • Living large?
                                                                                    • Home desktop sales and forecast
                                                                                      • Figure 16: U.S. sales of home desktop PCs, at current prices, 2005-13
                                                                                      • Figure 17: U.S. sales of home desktop PCs, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2005-13
                                                                                      • Figure 18: U.S. unit sales and average prices of home desktop PCs, at current prices, 2005-10
                                                                                  • Retail Channels

                                                                                    • Now available at a store near you
                                                                                      • Figure 19: Location of PC purchases, 2006-10
                                                                                    • Cell phone stores: The next frontier?
                                                                                    • Leading Companies

                                                                                      • Overview
                                                                                        • Figure 20: U.S. PC unit shipments,* by manufacturer, 2008-10
                                                                                      • Dell still dominates in homes
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Brands of PCs owned by household, Oct 2009-June 2010
                                                                                    • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                        • Apple Computer Inc.
                                                                                          • Google
                                                                                            • Jolicloud
                                                                                            • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                              • Manufacturer activity
                                                                                                • Acer
                                                                                                  • Figure 22: 1Q10-3Q10 financial summary, Acer Group
                                                                                                • Apple
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: FY10 financial summary, Apple
                                                                                                  • Dell
                                                                                                    • Figure 24: FY10* financial summary, Dell
                                                                                                  • Hewlett-Packard
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: FY10 financial summary, HP
                                                                                                  • Advertising
                                                                                                    • Overview
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Advertising spending by leading computer and technology brands, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                    • Print advertising: Looks matter
                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Apple iPad print ad, May 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Asus UBamboo notebook print ad
                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Samsung Galaxy Tab print ad, 2010
                                                                                                    • Television advertising
                                                                                                      • Apple makes a product launch into an event
                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Apple MacBook Air ad, 2010
                                                                                                      • Dell thinks about touch
                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Dell ad, 2010
                                                                                                      • HP looks to the future
                                                                                                        • Figure 32: HP Envy Beats ad, 2010
                                                                                                      • Sony goes with a celebrity
                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Sony Vaio ad, 2010
                                                                                                      • Online advertising
                                                                                                      • PC Ownership

                                                                                                        • Penetration drops for some demographics
                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Trended incidence of household ownership of home computers, by age, 2006-10
                                                                                                          • Figure 35: household ownership of home computers by gender, age and household income, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                        • More households have more PCs
                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Number of home computers owned, 2006-10
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Number of home computers in household, by gender, age and household income, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                        • Desktops still dominate, but the tech-savvy prefer laptops
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Desktop or laptop PC in household, by gender, age and household income, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Detailed type of computer owned, by, by gender, age and household income, September 2010
                                                                                                        • PC Purchase Intent

                                                                                                          • Fewer than 10% plan to buy a PC in the next six months
                                                                                                            • Figure 40: PC purchase intent and timing, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                          • Fragmentation occurs in the mobile space
                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Type of PC planned for purchase, by gender, age and household income, September 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Reasons for putting off purchase of new computer, by gender, age and household income, September 2010
                                                                                                        • Computer Usage Patterns

                                                                                                          • Productivity apps less popular than media
                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Productivity application usage on PCs, by age, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Productivity application usage on PCs, by household income, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                          • The web is where it’s at
                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Communications and miscellaneous application usage on PCs, by age, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Communications and miscellaneous application usage on PCs, by household income, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                          • Convergence usage still far from mainstream
                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Multimedia/home entertainment PC application usage and attitudes, by age, September 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Multimedia/home entertainment PC application usage and attitudes, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                                        • Brand Ownership

                                                                                                          • Dell dominates existing PC ownership
                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Brand of PCs owned, by age, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Brand of PCs owned, by household income, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                          • HP, Apple gain in respondent purchase plans
                                                                                                            • Figure 51: PC brand intended to purchase, by age, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                          • Dell also leads in brand preference
                                                                                                            • Figure 52: PC brand preferred to own, by age, September 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: PC brand preferred to own, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                                          • Apple’s influence grows
                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Apple product ownership, any vs. iPhone/iPod, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                        • Attitudes and Motivations

                                                                                                          • Younger users most engaged in mobility
                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Attitudes related to mobile computing, by age, September 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Attitudes related to mobile computing, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                                          • Awareness of netbooks with cellular plans still low
                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Miscellaneous attitudes toward purchase and usage of PCs, by age, September 2010
                                                                                                          • Men show greater engagement with digital video
                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Need for multimedia capabilities, and willingness to pay, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Need for multimedia capabilities, and willingness to pay, by age, November 2009
                                                                                                          • Older users most interested in phone-based support
                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Attitudes toward, source and usage of PC technical support, by age, September 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Attitudes toward, source and usage of PC technical support, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                                        • Teens and Kids—Computer Usage

                                                                                                          • Almost all teens use PCs
                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Usage of PCs by teens, by gender, age, and race/Hispanic origin, April 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Usage of various applications on PCs by teens, type of application, by gender, age and race/Hispanic origin, April 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Devices used to access the web by teens, by gender, age and race/Hispanic origin, April 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                          • PC usage is high even by kids
                                                                                                            • Figure 65: PC usage by kids, home vs. school, by gender, age and race/Hispanic origin, April 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Child usage of PCs/web, for games vs. homework vs. internet, by gender, age and race/Hispanic origin, April 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                        • Touchscreens—Ownership and Attitudes

                                                                                                          • Touchscreen PCs still in an early adopter phase
                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Touchscreen exposure, by gender, age and household income, September 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Touchscreen ownership, by gender, age and household income, September 2010
                                                                                                          • Younger users more interested in touchscreens
                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Attitudes toward touchscreen computers, by age, September 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Attitudes toward touchscreen computers, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                                        • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                          • Asians lead in PC ownership
                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Incidence of ownership and mean number of PCs owned, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Types of PCs owned, desktop vs. laptop, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                          • Missed opportunity to sell black audiences on portables
                                                                                                            • Figure 73: PC purchase intent and timing, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Detailed PC purchase intent, by race/Hispanic origin, September 2010
                                                                                                          • Entertainment could drive purchases for Hispanics, blacks
                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Productivity application usage on PCs, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Communications and miscellaneous application usage on PCs, by race/hispanic origin, November 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                        • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                            • Activators
                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Connectors
                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                            • Dabblers
                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                    • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Touchscreen exposure, ownership and attitudes toward, by PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Attitudes toward and needs for PC mobility, by PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Need for multimedia capabilities, and willingness to pay, by PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Miscellaneous attitudes toward and usage of PCs, by PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Reasons for putting off purchase of new computer, by PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Apple computer ownership, by PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Multimedia/home entertainment PC application usage and attitudes, by PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Attitudes toward, source and usage of PC technical support, by PC clusters, October 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: PC clusters, by gender, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: PC clusters, by age, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: PC clusters, by household income, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: PC clusters, by race, October 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: PC clusters, by Hispanic origin, October 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                    • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                      • Recent buyers more likely to purchase notebooks, HP, Acer, Macs
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Type of PC owned, by year of last purchase, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Brand of PC owned, by year of last purchase, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Sony owners most engaged with online video
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Multimedia/home entertainment PC application usage and attitudes, by brand owned, part 1, September 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Multimedia/home entertainment PC application usage and attitudes, by brand owned, part 2, September 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 95: Multimedia/home entertainment PC application usage and attitudes, by brand owned, September 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                            • Figure 96: Communications and miscellaneous application usage on PCs, by gender, October 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 97: PC brand intended to purchase, by gender, November 2009-June 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 98: Miscellaneous attitudes toward PCs, by household income, November 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 99: Attitudes toward multimedia capabilities, by household income, November 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 100: Attitudes toward PC technical support, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                          • Acer Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • American Electrology Association (AEA)
                                                                                                                                          • American Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                          • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                          • Association of Information Technology Professionals
                                                                                                                                          • AT&T Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                          • Dell Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
                                                                                                                                          • Hewlett-Packard Company
                                                                                                                                          • Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Intel Corporation
                                                                                                                                          • Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA)
                                                                                                                                          • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                          • Netflix, Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Nokia Corporation (US)
                                                                                                                                          • Palm Inc.
                                                                                                                                          • Panasonic Corporation of North America
                                                                                                                                          • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                                          • Samsung Electronics (USA)
                                                                                                                                          • Semiconductor Industry Association
                                                                                                                                          • Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
                                                                                                                                          • Sony Corporation of America
                                                                                                                                          • Toshiba Corporation (USA)
                                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                          • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                          PCs - US - January 2011

                                                                                                                                          £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)