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Consumers Looking To Web For PC Purchases

A series of online surveys conducted by Active Research in May indicated the number of consumers purchasing PCs online will grow substantially, a large portion of consumers feel broadband internet access it too expensive and that price is the primary determining factor when purchasing a notebook computer.

The Active Research data showed that 41 percent of the 455 respondents said their next computer would be purchased online with just 30 percent indicating they would rather walk into a store to buy a PC and 29 percent intend to buy manufacturer direct. These intentions reflect a major departure from how the respondents said they had bought their last PC. Forty percent of those participating bought from a traditional store the last time around with 29 percent buying online and 31 percent getting their computer directly from the manufacturer.

A poll of 355 people pointed to price and availability as the primary reasons consumers have not adopted broadband Internet access. Active Research found that 39 percent of those polled were turned off by price, while 34 percent reported that either cable or DSL broadband access was not available in their neighborhood.

Seven percent of the people said they had no idea what broadband was, while 12 percent saw no need to have it installed. Eight percent intended to get broadband in the next three months.

A third poll of 1,262 online consumers found that notebook computer buyers are price driven and the majority of buyers are under 34 years old. Despite how vendors hype the amount of installed RAM and processor speed of their new notebooks, these features were not as important as price to consumers. Just more than 19 percent said price was most important followed by the amount of RAM, 12.7 percent, processor speed, 12.5 percent and screen size 11 percent.

Brand had little influence with just less than 9 percent citing it as an important factor in a notebook purchase and even fewer people, 5.4 percent, were concerned about what brand processor the notebook featured.