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Two-fold jump in Mac interest since Intel switch - survey

A recent ChangeWave Research spending survey found that 37 percent of respondents say they’re more likely to buy a Mac computer now that Apple has made the transition to Intel processors.

The figure is nearly double the 19 percent who said they had gained interest in purchasing a Mac in June 2005, when Apple initially announced its plans to switch microprocessor suppliers.

They survey of 3,046 ChangeWave Alliance members also found that Apple has gained significantly in notebook purchases for the past 90 days, up 3 percentage points to a new all-time high of 12 percent.

"Since the initial rollout of the Intel Macs, Apple’s share has climbed steadily — from 4 percent in January 2006 to 12 percent currently," the firm wrote in its report. "We do note that Apple’s share of desktop purchases over the past 90 days (7 percent) declined 4 points."

Going forward, 18 percent of participants said they plan to purchase a Mac desktop in the next 90 (up 4 percentage points) while 17 percent say they plan to buy a Mac notebook (down 2 percentage points).

"But the most astonishing finding is that 37 percent of respondents now say they’re more likely to buy an Apple PC because of the Intel chip," the firm said. "The huge, ever-growing pool of consumers who report they’re more likely to buy a new Intel Mac looks like a monster ChangeQuake in the Consumer PC market."

ChangeWave noted that the vast majority (86 percent) of those who own a Mac with an Intel chip are "very" or "somewhat satisfied" with their computer.

Of the various retail stores in which consumers can purchase PC- and consumer electronics-related products, 6 percent of respondents said they preferred to buy from the Apple Store. The figure is up 2 percent from ChangeWave's previous survey and represents the second largest retail momentum shift next to Amazon.

ChangeWave Survey Graph: Apple Notebook Marketshare

Meanwhile, the firm said iPod ownership is up about 2 percent since June 2006, led by an increase in iPods with video capability. Looking ahead 90 days, 8 percent of survey respondents said they plan on purchasing an iPod —again, up 2 percent.

At the same time, ChangeWave said iTunes has made gains (4 percent) as the top music download service, with 24 percent of respondents saying they currently use the service. Musicmatch remained a distant second with 5 percent usage.

Interestingly, only 14 percent of respondents said they’re likely to buy Apple's new iTV set- top box when it becomes available early next year. 69 percent said they are unlikely to purchase the device, while the remaining 17 percent did not know or had not yet made up their mind.