PC Replacement Rate Reverses

The average age of workplace and home personal computers is shrinking, reversing a three-year trend in which consumers and employers had been keeping PCs longer, according to the recently released2004 edition of Technology User Profile.

“After three years of brutally expanding replacement rates, both homes and workplaces have finally started replacing their personal computers,” said Dan Ness, Principal Analyst with MetaFacts. “Nationwide, over two-thirds (67.9%) of U.S. workplace PCs were bought in the previous two years, up strongly from fewer than six in ten (57.6%) only one year ago, in 2003. Also, while home PCs are still replaced less often than in the workplace, the home PC replacement rate has finally stabilized. Just under half (49.9%) of U.S. home PCs were bought in the previous two years, slightly up from 49.1% in 2003, a rate which had been previously expanding, at 54.2% in 2002 and 61.5% in 2001.”

The research indicates that broadband households are one segment that is replacing their home PCs the fastest. According to Principal Analyst Ness, “Homes that have felt the need for the speed and convenience of broadband DSL or cable Internet connections also replace their PCs faster than the general public. Although this group is still in the minority, representing just over one-third (34.2%) of home PCs, over five out of nine (58.6%) of this group’s home PCs have been bought in the prior two years.”

Other findings are that Sony Home PCs are the newest, with nearly three-quarters (74%) bought in the prior two years, followed by Dell Computer PCs at 69%.

The Technology User Profile study provides a detailed profile of how Americans use technology products such as computers, printers, digital cameras, the Internet, cellular phones, and related services. The 2004 edition of the study includes results from 32,150 respondents, making it possible to leverage the service’s database for sizing, demographics, segmentation, profiling, analysis, and custom surveying.