Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Fourth Estate - Keeping Us on Our Toes


We like reporters. We especially like reporters who are writing about this digital lifestyles stuff with some fresh angles. So, thanks to the recent requests for the usual year-end write-ups on "What's Hot" and "What to Expect this Holiday Season" in terms of CE buying.

We dug into the Parks Associates' treasure trove of data and came up with some time-series tracking of purchase intentions for some common CE devices. The data comes from our two Digital Media Habits surveys, conducted both in Q3. John Barrett and his team have done a great job of developing consistent questionnaires that lend themselves to comparisons in both Digital Media Habits and our Global Digital Living projects. Here's just one example of how we can use this data.

So, what are our takeways as we compare last year's data to this year's? Based on these results, I think that we (along with folks in the economist community) have some trepidation in looking at the holiday season, given the credit crunch, home values declining, and news about weakness in the economy. I think it is going to be easier for consumers to consider upgrades of products they already own – particularly computers, digital cameras, video camcorders, and music players, as opposed to thinking about a totally new product purchase. After all, the price for the portable devices continues to fall, and you can buy a significant upgrade to cameras (improved megapixels, etc.) for not a whole lot more (or even less) than what people spent on the original product. PC sales should be solid, either because people are finally going to upgrade to a Vista system, or because XP systems will be very cost-effective as upgrades.

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