Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Survey: Apple users more likely to be Green Minded

Apple users are proportionally more eco-friendly than users of other vendors' PCs. Moreover, they're more willing to plunk down extra cash for green products.

That nugget of information is one of many findings in a report just released by Forrester Research titled "In Search Of Green Technology Consumers: Why Tech Marketers Should Target This Emerging Segment." Forrester surveyed computer users to determine the extent of their green leanings and what drove their environmentally conscientious practices (or lack thereof).

The report finds that, all told, 12 percent of U.S. adults are "bright green," which Forrester defines as those who are "concerned about the environment and global warming, and strongly agree that they would pay extra for consumer electronics that used less energy or came from a company that was environmentally friendly."

Moreover, another 41 percent of U.S. adults are "green consumers": those who "share concerns about environmental issues and global warming, but do not strongly agree that they would pay more for environmentally-friendly electronics."

The remaining 47 percent of the population "do not (yet) share the greens' concerns about the environment or global warming."

Forrester found that 14 percent of Apple users are bright green. From there, the list breaks down like this: 13 percent of Compaq consumers are bright green; then 12 percent of Gateway users; 11 percent of eMachines buyers; 10 percent of Dell fans; 9 percent of Toshiba users; 9 percent of IBM/Lenovo consumers; and 9 percent of consumers who buy their PCs from "Other" vendors. Below the "Other" category are HP users, 7 percent of whom are bright green. (The report notes that these numbers don't reflect the green practices of the companies themselves.)

Forrester notes that PC vendors are already making efforts to embrace more environmentally friendly practices and deliver greener products for several reasons: to appeal to consumers' ever-evolving eco-leanings; to deflect criticism from watchdog groups such as Greenpeace; and to adhere to regulations such as Europe's ROHS directive.

Those greener practices are taking several forms: designing products in a more conscientious manner; boosting system energy efficiency; cleaning up their manufacturing processes; using less wasteful packaging and transport methods; and making it easier for users to recycle their PCs.

Looking forward, Forrester predicts "that green-targeted PCs and other electronics will evolve as part of the consumer electronics industry's move to go beyond "beige box" design and styling and instead incorporate consumer style into its products."

Indeed, we've already starting seeing some of this since Forrester conducted its survey in Q2 of this year. Dell, for example, recently released a greened-up version of its Inspiron desktop. Everex is also focusing on the greenness of its recently unveiled TC2502 Green gPC, which runs on Linux.