Aussies choose laptops over desktops

Australian internet users are ditching desktop computers in favour of wireless technology with laptop ownership jumping from 49% to 63% in 2008, according to Nielsen Online.

Household ownership of desktop computers declined by 10 points to 82% in the past 12 months, according to Nielsen's internet and technology report, which indicates that wireless LAN ownership is up by more than 20 points to 53%.

More Australians are also signing up to broadband services. In 2007, 84% of Australian internet users reported to have broadband access at home, while in 2008 that figure reached 97%.

Tony Marlow, research director for Nielsen Online, said: "As Australian internet users become increasingly less wired in the ways they access the internet, a greater focus is being placed on laptop-style computers rather than fixed desktops.

"Looking ahead, we expect this trend to continue in 2009 and beyond, particularly for digital free-to-air TV, laptop computers and wireless LAN."

The number of hours Australians spend consuming media also continued to climb in 2008, reaching 89.2 hours per week compared to 84.4 hours in 2007 and just 71.4 hours in 2006.

New technology was the main driver of the increased consumption, with the amount of time spent online up from 13.7 hours in 2007 to 16.1 hours in 2008, while PC Video (video either downloaded or viewed on a computer) usage jumped from 2.5 hours to 4.6 hours, and video games usage was up from 4.6 hours to 5.4 hours.

Marlow said: "Given the average Australian is only awake for around 112 hours per week, it's surprising just how many of those waking hours are dedicated to media consumption.

"We've seen some pretty extraordinary increases in the past few years, however, we would anticipate a levelling out in consumption hours over the next few years as Australians simply run out of hours in the day."

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