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Consumers Spend More on Peripherals Than PCs?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 40 comments

A recent report indicates that consumers spend more on upgrades and peripherals than they do on the actual rig.

At first the IDC report indicating that consumers spent more money on PC peripherals than they did on the purchase of the actual PC seemed rather bogus. However the term "peripheral" doesn't just apply to mice, keyboards, and a good speaker system. Rather, consumers dumped money into upgrades such as new graphics cards, hard drives, additional RAM and more.

Now that makes sense.

The report took a look at 2009's figures from the PC sector. As jobs and wallets took a big hit resulting from a tanked economy, the PC industry started to suffer as well--except for the PC accessories market which remained "vibrant and expanding." In fact, U.S. consumers spent at least $1.05 on PC accessories and peripherals for every $1 spent on a PC. This number was actually higher than 2008's numbers of $0.87 spent per dollar.

According David Daoud, research director, Personal Computing, the research behind the report was meant to reveal numbers generated from the accessories market, a factor that had not been adequately tracked in the past.

"With the trend of a multi-PC per user environment, the accessories market will play a growing role in insuring seamless integration of all the devices in businesses and households," he said. "The need for solutions to enhance user experience, improve productivity, and secure users' computing environment mean that the accessories market will continue to expand going forward."

The report also notes software as part of its overall peripheral classification, indicating that security and anti-spam software also propelled revenue in the accessories sector. U.S. small businesses--those with less than 100 employees--actually spent $2.7 billion on "Beyond-the-Box" products, accounting for nearly 24-percent of their computer shopping budget.

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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    mattfoo2324 , June 29, 2010 7:33 PM
    My PC is 100% peripherals.
  • 31 Hide
    squiggs77 , June 29, 2010 7:29 PM
    So what exactly isn't a peripheral according to this report?
  • 11 Hide
    theuerkorn , June 29, 2010 7:48 PM
    Quote:
    However the term "peripheral" doesn't just apply to mice, keyboards, and a good speaker system. Rather, consumers dumped money into upgrades such as new graphics cards, hard drives, additional RAM and more.

    So, by that definition almost everything shy the CPU counts as peripherals? (Provided it's bought to retrofit?) Quite a stretch.
Other Comments
  • 31 Hide
    squiggs77 , June 29, 2010 7:29 PM
    So what exactly isn't a peripheral according to this report?
  • 33 Hide
    mattfoo2324 , June 29, 2010 7:33 PM
    My PC is 100% peripherals.
  • 7 Hide
    rantoc , June 29, 2010 7:37 PM
    Not that surprised by the report, a lot of people aren't that tech accustomed and buy the cheapest cheapest machines but they do like the "ohh shiny" factor so they purchase all kinds of peripherals around it to make it look way even when its still a 2-3 generations old machine... (much like most peoples first car =)
  • 10 Hide
    xurwin , June 29, 2010 7:43 PM
    Quote:
    So what exactly isn't a peripheral according to this report?


    and whats with the video card picture?
  • 11 Hide
    theuerkorn , June 29, 2010 7:48 PM
    Quote:
    However the term "peripheral" doesn't just apply to mice, keyboards, and a good speaker system. Rather, consumers dumped money into upgrades such as new graphics cards, hard drives, additional RAM and more.

    So, by that definition almost everything shy the CPU counts as peripherals? (Provided it's bought to retrofit?) Quite a stretch.
  • 5 Hide
    falchard , June 29, 2010 7:51 PM
    If you build yourself it counts as 100% peripherals which scews the results. It doesn't really make sense to overpay for poor quality parts that are behind tech.
  • 0 Hide
    jomofro39 , June 29, 2010 7:53 PM
    So basically, more people are building their computers now as opposed to buying already-constructed PCs? Makes sense, economy tanks, so people FINALLY google "cheapest PC", and realize you can build a better computer for less. I had to explain this to my company, and now we all have custom workstations. :) 
  • -3 Hide
    maestintaolius , June 29, 2010 7:55 PM
    Not terribly surprising considering a decent mobo, cpu and ram (core2duo system)can be had for 300-400$ which is the cost of a single midrange video card.
  • -2 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , June 29, 2010 7:59 PM
    that gpu is a piece of crap... hardly a peripheral... id say water cooling, lights, extra controls, super huge heatsinks, dx11 gpu's,xi-fi soundcards, wireless anything, backlit anything, even ssd's and 800+ psu's and additional ddr3 RAM with their own heatsinks to me are considered peripherials, anything that is not stock
  • 2 Hide
    sliem , June 29, 2010 8:00 PM
    Peripheral in this report = upgrades to video card, ram etc.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , June 29, 2010 8:03 PM
    If consoles didn't stop all innovation in 3d gaming then perhaps i would need a new video card or ram, but my gtx 260 and 8 gigs of ddr8 is WAY more then enough to play any dx10 game at max settings with very playable rates. I use to upgrade about once a year.
    Vodoo3 -> Geforce2 gts pro -> Ti4400 -> fx5600 -> fx 5800 -> 6800 ultra -> 8800gts 640 -> GTX260
  • 0 Hide
    Kelavarus , June 29, 2010 8:09 PM
    liquidsnake718that gpu is a piece of crap... hardly a peripheral... id say water cooling, lights, extra controls, super huge heatsinks, dx11 gpu's,xi-fi soundcards, wireless anything, backlit anything, even ssd's and 800+ psu's and additional ddr3 RAM with their own heatsinks to me are considered peripherials, anything that is not stock


    A 4870x2 is stock?
  • 1 Hide
    carickw , June 29, 2010 8:16 PM
    Counting any PC upgrade as a peripheral seems like a stretch, but it makes sense with the economy. Instead of buying a whole new computer, an upgrade is much cheaper, and can extend the life of a computer quite a bit. Heck, I was still running Windows 98SE in 2007 without any major problems, except speed :) 
  • 0 Hide
    carickw , June 29, 2010 8:17 PM
    by "it" i do not mean counting upgrades peripherals, but that these so caller peripherals outsold full machines.
  • 4 Hide
    rollerdisco , June 29, 2010 8:21 PM
    These "studies" can give them ANY numbers they want. This is a crap story. They probably are thinking your monitor is your computer, and the "tower-thingy" are the peripherals.
  • 8 Hide
    Drag0nR1der , June 29, 2010 8:27 PM
    seriousl;y RAM, hard drives, graphics cards. These are not peripherals. If it actually replaces a necessary part of your rig then its an upgrade or replacement... all this is saying is that people prefer to upgrade and maint6ain a rig once they have one, rather than buy a completely new rig. Hell my current machine has no original parts, but I've never really bought a whole new rig at any time.
  • 1 Hide
    dgingeri , June 29, 2010 8:29 PM
    according to the way they define it, I've only bought peripherals. I don't think I've every bought all the parts for a pc at once. I upgrade a little bit at a time over the course of the year, to the point that I get a new pc every year, except for the case. They fail at writing articles.
  • 3 Hide
    Drag0nR1der , June 29, 2010 8:30 PM
    jomofro39So basically, more people are building their computers now as opposed to buying already-constructed PCs? Makes sense, economy tanks, so people FINALLY google "cheapest PC", and realize you can build a better computer for less. I had to explain this to my company, and now we all have custom workstations.


    Except companies often like the backing of a warranty and service desk
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , June 29, 2010 8:34 PM
    To me, a "peripheral" is anything not contained within the case (of whatever style); although I might accept that a sound card or additional (not replacement) hard drive might also be considered a peripheral.
    Requisite components of a PC like mobo, RAM, CPU, PSU, hard drive, optical drive, etc. are not "peripherals."

    Edit: They must define "peripheral" as any aftermarket part, but it sounds like those who did this study fail to grasp the significance of people building their own PCs from scratch, rather than merely buying a Dell or eMachine and adding to it.
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