Great News For Apple, Ominous News For Dell in New Consumer PC Survey

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ChangeWave's latest consumer PC survey - conducted August 1-8, 2007 - shows the transformational impact the iPhone is having on Mac sales, translating into great news for Apple (AAPL) and ominous news for Dell (DELL).

These results are great news for Apple, and they serve as powerful evidence that the 'halo effect' is indeed translating into real world Mac computer sales for Steve Jobs and company

Back in June, a ChangeWave consumer survey saw an Apple "halo effect" on the way for Mac computer sales, due in part to all of the advance publicity and hype surrounding the release of the iPhone. At that time it appeared as though there was a transformational shift taking place in the consumer PC marketplace.

According to ChangeWave's latest consumer PC survey - conducted August 1-8, 2007 - the enormous impact of that transformational shift is now clear, and the news is great for Apple (AAPL) and ominous for Dell (DELL).

The survey of 3,665 ChangeWave Alliance members began by asking those who bought a computer in the past 90 days which manufacturer they had bought it from. The survey then asked those planning to buy a computer in the next 90 days which manufacturer they'd be buying from.

In an ongoing alteration of the consumer PC landscape, Apple laptop sales have surged to a new all-time high over the past 90 days - up from 12% in June to 17% currently - an unprecedented 5-point move. Apple desktop sales (7%; down 1-pt) have been solid but unspectacular during that same time period.

Going forward, planned Apple Mac purchases over the next 90 days reveal more of the same ahead for Apple. A total of 28% of respondents who plan to purchase a laptop say they'll get a Mac - mirroring the brisk momentum originally seen back in June. Another 23% say they'll buy an Apple desktop - up 1 point from the previous survey.

"These results are great news for Apple, and they serve as powerful evidence that the 'halo effect' is indeed translating into real world Mac computer sales for Steve Jobs and company," said Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing.

If the news for Apple can be described as great, then the news for Dell would certainly be described as ominous. After a surprising uptick for the box maker in ChangeWave's June survey, Dell's market share is once again taking a huge hit.

Only 30% of purchasers say they bought a Dell desktop in the past 90 days. This represents a 7-pt drop for Dell since June - down to the second-lowest percentage it's recorded for desktops in a ChangeWave survey. Similarly, Dell laptop purchases (24%) have fallen 4-pts to a new all time low.

What about Dell's outlook for the next 90 days? That too appears troubled. The survey results show planned desktop purchases (31%) falling 5-pts to a new all-time low. The only potential bright spot for Dell is in its planned laptop purchases (29%), which have inched up 1-pt since June - although they too are near a record low.

It is important to note that most of Dell's revenue comes from corporate PC sales. The next ChangeWave corporate IT purchasing survey--currently in the field--will shed light on whether Dell is gaining or losing in the all-important corporate marketplace.

Another prominent PC maker worthy of mention here is Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), whose desktop share appears quite stable among consumers. A total of 26% who purchased a desktop over the last 90 days say they bought an H-P - up 1-pt from June. After peaking in ChangeWave's June survey, however, H-P laptop purchases (25%; down 2-pts) have edged back slightly.

In a positive sign for H-P going forward, the findings show a big 5-pt jump in planned H-P desktop purchases for the next 90 days (28%). In a more mixed result, H-P laptop purchases going forward (25%; down 3-pts) have pulled back somewhat from their previous all-time highs.

Overall these are positive consumer results for Hewlett-Packard. H-P desktop sales are up going forward, and while laptops have come back slightly off their June highs - most likely due, in part, to increasing competition from Apple - they nonetheless appear relatively healthy.

Perhaps the most impressive finding for Apple in this survey is its outstanding customer satisfaction rating. A whopping 86% of those who bought an Apple computer over past 90 days report being "Very Satisfied" with their purchase, by far the highest of any manufacturer.

On the flipside, Dell is dead last among PC makers when it comes to customer satisfaction. In fact, only 44% of those who bought a Dell over the past 90 days report being "Very Satisfied" with their purchase, down 9-pts since June.

Once again - more great news for Apple; more ominous news for Dell.

Further information on the ChangeWave consumer PC survey will be released Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at
The ChangeWave Alliance is a network of over 10,000 highly qualified business, technology, and medical professionals in leading companies of select industries--credentialed experts who spend their everyday lives working on the front line of technological change. ChangeWave surveys its Alliance members on a range of business and investment research and intelligence topics, collects feedback from them electronically, and converts the information into proprietary quantitative and qualitative reports.


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Darlene March
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