Thursday, 03 April 2008 08:03

Consumers spend big on tech, then scratch heads wondering why

A new report indicates that Australian consumers are spending more than ever on technology but in many cases they don't have the skills to use it properly.  What's more, in many cases consumers are spending money on unnecessary new items that do the same job as products they already have.

The report by Galaxy Research, titled The gizmo Household Technology Study, found that computers and networking are among the biggest banes of Australian households, causing consumers who lack knowledge and skills to spend unnecessarily on duplicate products and services.

The survey found that Australian households with two or more computers are often paying for more than one Internet connection because they don't have a home network set up to share a single Internet service.

According to the report, seven in ten of Australians surveyed have two or more computers in their household, implying that there are large numbers of people who could create a household network without purchasing extra equipment. However, 40% of those surveyed with two or more computers did not have file sharing enabled, and 18% admitted that not all computers had access to the internet.

In addition, 11% of surveyed Australians admitted to paying for two or more internet connections, when a networked house would allow all computers to share a single connection.

Printers were also singled out as products on which consumers waste their money unnecessarily.

The report found that one in three Australians surveyed (36%) have two or more printers in their household, yet almost half of these (46%) are not able to print from all computers to all printers, without the time consuming process of swapping files or cables. CONTINUED

“Consumers are buying up big on new technology, but many are struggling to get the most out of these investments,” said Brett Chenoweth, CEO of technology services provider gizmo.  “In fact, the computer skills of many Australians are lagging between five and ten years behind the technology features they have in their homes.

“Whether it’s setting up shared iTunes libraries, networking file and print sharing, setting up a wireless network, or backing up precious documents and photos, many Australians are just not able to integrate technology in their homes.”

Mr Chenoweth said consumers are struggling to make sense of the constant technical evolution.

"Many are just buying the latest technology because they are captivated by a few key features, not realising those features might already exist in their homes."


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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