Survey Finds Apple Laptops #1 Brand on College Campuses

Apple laptops are the most popular laptop on college campuses these days, with more than one in four of those students who owned a notebook toting one with an Apple logo on it. This figure comes from Student Monitor, a company that regularly surveys students at 100 universities, selling the resultant information to major corporations for fun and profit.

Fortune magazine’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt sought out the information after a Wall Street analyst downgraded Microsoft last week on the claim that his own survey of students at five unspecified universities found 70% of incoming students were toting Macs. To debunk this figure, Mr. Elmer-DeWitt contacted Student Monitor to get that company’s figures.

With its most recent data, Student Monitor said that 95% of students owned at least one computer, with 83% of them owning a laptop and 24% owning a desktop (15% owned both, accounting for the overlap). Of those with laptops, 27% owned an Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro, beating out Dell’s 24% to be big notebook on campus. HP was third with 15% (plus another 4% who owned Compaq brand, which is owned by HP), Toshiba was fourth with 10%, and Sony was fifth with some 5%.

Student Monitor Chart

Source: Student Monitor

Even more interesting, Student Monitor said of those who planned on buying a new computer, 87% said they were going to purchase a laptop, and 47% of those students said they planned on purchasing a Mac. That marks a distinct upward trend for Apple — as recently as 2005, 14% of those students planning on buying a new laptop planned on buying a Mac, while 47% planned on buying a Dell.

On the desktop side, Dell and HP were tops claiming a combined 45% of student desktops. 14% owned Apple desktop models for third place.

Student Monitor’s student surveys are comprehensive. The firm interviews 1,200 students at 100 universities around the U.S. it says are representative of the country as a whole. Those students participate in a survey that takes 55 minutes to complete, and is comprehensive in nature — the computer-related portion is, in other words, a small part of the survey. The resulting data is then mined by large corporations.