UK home PC survey depicts haves, have-nots

The UK home PC market is divided and stagnant with 41 per cent of people in Britain claiming they are not using IT products, according to a report by Mori. The report adds that the market is also showing no signs of penetration outside of existing users.

The UK home PC market is divided and stagnant with 41 per cent of people in Britain claiming they are not using IT products, according to a report by Mori. The report adds that the market is also showing no signs of penetration outside of existing users.

The 'British and Technology' annual report commissioned by Motorola reveals that the nation is divided by 'haves' and 'have nots', showing that 37 per cent of the population have a PC at home compared to last year's figure of 36 per cent. The figures also indicate a north-south divide with 43 per cent of households in London and the South owning a PC, which is about 11 per cent more than the rest of the country.

"The number of have-nots is virtually unchanged from 1996," said the report, showing that "efforts to promote a wider use of technology have failed. The number of people who say they are working extra hours at home because of developments in technology has more than doubled in the past 12 months, but the number saying technology is having the opposite effect has increased by over 80 per cent."

In stark contrast a survey released by the Office for National Statistics took a more optimistic stance saying that that UK families are forking out big time on PCs and not just for games use.

The Family Expenditure Survey covered the 12 months between April 1996 and March 1997 and revealed that 26.7 per cent of UK households now own a PC.

Like Mori, this survey also revealed that the highest PC penetration is in London (32.4 per cent) followed by the Eastern (31.7 per cent) and South Eastern (31.4 per cent) regions. The North East (19.1 per cent) and the West Midlands (22 per cent) were the two lowest regions.

Survey editor John King said that the statistics indicated that computer technology is becoming an essential household item and not a gadget just for technology enthusiasts.

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