Research, Analysis & Forecasting - Consumer IT Markets

MarketMaps' assessment of opportunities for information technology products and services in consumer markets is based on extensive primary research and demand-side analysis. In partnership with CENTRISSM, a research and information services firm specializing in cable, satellite, home video, motion pictures, telecommunications and the Internet, MarketMaps brings its knowledge and expertise in personal computing, wireless communications and mobile technologies to monitor the adoption and forecast the acceptance of information technology products and related services by consumers.

The adoption of information technology in U.S. households has a long way to go. At the end of 1998 some 47.5% of all households had at least one PC [48.0 M]. By the end of 2004 MarketMaps projects that 65% of households or 70M will have a PC, but that's not the end of the story. Information appliances e.g. WebTV will provide online access to many without a PC. In 1999 alone an additional 5.6 million households representing 13.1 million users [not shown] are expected to come online. This dynamic landscape presents numerous opportunities and even more pitfalls. To help guide its clients MarketMaps provides informed analysis based on extensive research in the form of both syndicated reports and proprietary studies.


CENTRISSM tracks over 60 communications, entertainment and information technology areas daily, at the household level, where it all converges. This integrated research provides MarketMaps with targeted, timely and projectable data on which to base its analyses and forecasts for syndicated reports and custom consulting.

The standard battery of questions profiles monthly over 4,000 households' electronics inventory, video entertainment subscriptions, telephone services, software and online usage for all the categories listed below:

  • Home PCs - modem speed, CD-ROMs bought, DVD-ROM drive
  • Internet Use - ISP name, online purchases, Web Appliances
  • Cable TV - Pay-per-view, subscription status/history, operator, modem
  • Satellite - size of Dish, premium services, monthly fees
  • VCR, Videos & Discs - Videos rented/bought, DVD player/discs used
  • Video Games - player owned, # games bought/rented
  • Telephone Services -- # lines, LD Provider, Cell phone, Pager
  • Audio - Stereo/TV connection, CD Player, # Audio CDs bought
  • Out-of-Home - Movies, Sporting events, Theme Parks, etc.
  • Demographics - Income, education, age, composition
  • Geography - Metro status, region, state, county

MarketMaps publishes syndicated reports providing timely insights into the dynamic consumer IT marketplace.

Consumer PC Buying Intentions - 1999 (September 1999)

Nearly 14% of U.S. households are planning to buy a personal computer in 1999. Although all intentions are not fulfilled, dramatically lower prices for some models are pushing the PC closer to an impulse buy at the checkout stand. Low cost PCs may be attracting most of the headlines, but 20% of buyers will spend $2,000 or more for their systems.

Other Key Findings:

  • Lower income households and the 55+ set are in the market as well as families with children
  • PC penetration will exceed 50% the drive to get online continues
  • More than 14 million systems averaging $1,450 each are expected to be sold in 1999
  • Portables and flat screen systems are catching the eye of many as both are poised for dramatic growth in 2000

Consumer PC Buying Behavior - First Quarter 1999 (March 1999)

Drawn by lower than expected prices, a desire to go online as well as support the education of their children, U.S. consumers bought personal computers in record numbers this past holiday season. Over 5.6 million PCs were purchased vs. approximately 3.8 million in the year earlier period running from November 1 through January 31. Fulfillment of intentions reached to nearly 43% as a higher than expected proportion of the 13.2 million households indicating that they were "Very Likely" to buy actually did according to MarketMaps' February 1999 survey of 2000 U.S. households.

Other Key Findings:

  • PC buyers spent an average of $1,393 for their personal computers and monitors (if applicable)
  • One in five consumers who purchased a PC this past holiday season paid less than they expected to
  • One third of spending went for systems costing $2,000 or more
  • Over half of all PC households spent an additional $7.5 billion on software, printers, scanners, joysticks and other PC related products

Consumer PC Buying Intentions - Holiday Season '98 (Nov 1998)

Intentions to buy PCs are up nearly 50% over last year at this time according to a survey of 2,000 households completed November 4, 1998 by MarketMaps and CENTRIS. Driven by lower prices, the desire to support the education of their children, the urge to get online along with business and professional needs U.S. consumers are expected to buy 5 million PCs between November 1, 1998 and January 31, 1999.

Other Key Findings:

  • Households with children are twice as likely to be in the market as are households without children
  • 2.3 million households are expected to acquire their first PC this Holiday Season
  • Overall consumers are planning to spend $1,500 on average for their PC (including monitor)
  • Repeat buyers are planning to spend $225 more on average than are first-time buyers
  • Senior citizens are among those more likely to be considering a portable PC
  • Over 40% of those most likely to buy a PC have not decided which brand they will choose


MarketMaps takes its forecasting seriously using a rigorous, stepwise approach to develop its projections to provide strategic planning and product marketing teams with rational scenarios of market size and growth over time.

  • Monitor current incidence, use patterns and demand levels for existing products and services or ones that a new offering may replace - if appropriate
  • Profile adoption by user segment as basis of demand forecasts
  • Evaluate impact of market dynamics on alternative scenarios
  • Cross-check scenarios with customer, vendor and channel interviews

In addition to forecasts presented in the reports described above MarketMaps' forecasting efforts have included private client projects such as:

  • Household PC penetration to the year 2004
  • Internet and online users by location [at home & away] - by age, gender and location
  • Multiple PC households and home networking
  • Adoption rates of non-PC Internet access devices [appliances]

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