Personal Computers in 33% of US Households
Software Publishers Association Fourth Annual Consumer Study Finds PCs in More
Homes and Being Used More Diversly
55% of PCs Sold in 1994 have CD-ROM Drives
March 14, 1995 (San Diego, CA) -- The Software Publishers Association (SPA) announced
today the results of its fourth annual study of computers in the home. The use of
home personal computers exploded in 1994, with household penetration of PCs reaching
33% in early 1995, an all-time high.
Buyers are also taking advantage of the latest technology available, as high
powered machines dominated home PC sales in 1994. In fact, a full 57% of IBM compatibles
purchased in 1994 contained 486 chips.
If the home PC market in 1994 were described in a word, it would be 'more',"
said David Tremblay, SPA Research Director. "Far more households are using PCs now
than were a year ago. They are spending more time on their PCs, and are using more
types of application."
Of all the computers purchased for home use in 1994, over 60% of buyers said
that this was their first home PC. Three-quarters of both first-time and experienced
PC purchasers said that at least one person in their household utilized a computer
Among other key survey findings:
- Multimedia capabilities clearly spurred PC purchases in 1994, as 55% of
all PCs purchased were equipped with CD-ROM drives. Modems are prevalent but
survey results show they often go unused.
- On-ramps to the information superhighway largely remain underutilized. Despite
the fact that 73% of buyers in '94 admitting owning a modem, only 25% presently
use an on-line service.
- Use of Microsoft Windows increased dramatically in 1994 . But, the increase
will likely taper off going forward. While the survey results show a dramatic
rise in Windows use over the past year (from 53% in 1993 to 79% in 1994), only
31% of present non-Windows users responded that they would begin using that
platform in the coming months.
- Home PC use diversified as respondents described utilizing their computers
at increasing percentages for personal productivity, working out of home offices,
recreation/entertainment, and educational purposes. Home education use alone
increased tremendously -- by 50% over the past year.
- PC users are varying their applications. Word processors, used on 87% of
home PCs, and entertainment software (78%) are the two most common types of
applications on home PCs. But as further evidence of more diverse use of home
PCs, more applications are being used by more households this year. A total
of 5 types of applications are being used on at least 50% of home PCs, up from
only 2 types in 1993. Ten types of applications are used on at least 1/3 of
home PCs, up from only 6 in 1993.
- PC users are supportive of game ratings. A strong majority (70%) of PC users
were supportive of a games rating system. This coincides with a vast increase
in the use of recreational software, with 59% of respondents saying they utilize
their PCs for entertainment. When given a choice of rating systems, PC users
favored one that discloses potentially objectionable content over a system which
gave general age group recommendations by 55% to 37%.
The 1994 survey results are based on a nationwide random sample telephone poll
conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. More than 500 consumers who are the primary
in-home decision makers about computer software and hardware purchases were interviewed.
The Software Publishers Association is the principal trade association of the PC
software industry. Its 1,100 members represent the leading publishers in the business,
consumer, and education markets. The SPA has offices in Washington, DC, and Paris,
France. SPA press releases are available on-line through CompuServe (GO:SPAFORUM).