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Apple to Make PC Inroads

New York — Apple is poised to draw more computer buyers in the upcoming months and not because of red-hot iPod sales.

According to a ChangeWave survey of its alliance members, the research firm found that Apple ranked second only to Dell with consumers planning to buy a desktop in the next 90 days, and those Apple hopefuls cited the lack of viruses and spyware as the principle reason for the purchase. Ease of managing other media ranked as another key reason with 47 percent of respondents while only 14 percent noted the “ease of integration” of an Apple computer with an iPod.

The omnibus report singled out “digital music players led by the iPod” as the biggest winner on its alliance member’s CE wish list followed by LCD TVs and DVD-Rs. Game consoles, cellphones, digital cameras and satellite radio also made gains.

Looking out six months, the firm noted that VoIP, HDTV, satellite radio and DVR service ranked highest among services that consumers were considering. Atop the list was VoIP, which showed a 160 percent jump in the number of consumers planning to subscribe.

As to where consumers are shopping for their electronics, ChangeWave found that big-box specialty stores are faring well, with 64 percent of respondents shopping there, in addition to e-commerce, which gained six points since the last survey conducted in October 2004. Discounters took the biggest hit, falling 9 percent in shopper preference since October.

ChangeWave surveys a group of 5,000 professionals across a variety of fields to cull its information. It does not conduct random surveys of individuals but uses the same core group of professionals, said Michael Shulman, research director. Shulman said this gives the data a degree of predictability otherwise lost in random surveys.