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iPhones, broadband and gamers give reason for economic hope
#7 We love tchotchkes and booth babes: Attendance at technology trade shows hasn't dropped off -- a sure sign that tech companies aren't slashing their marketing budgets yet.
#8 We're online: Even if we're not going to the mall or eating out, we're surfing the Web. More than 164 million US citizens are active online. The average US Internet user spent more than 19 hours online in March, up 3.2 per cent from the prior month, according to Nielsen.
#4 We're still buying PCs: We may not be buying our children SUVs for their Sweet Sixteens, but we're willing to buy them laptops. Sales of PCs in the US rose 3.5 per cent in the first three months of 2008, according to market research firm IDC. Thanks to strong demand for PCs in Europe and Asia, worldwide growth in PC sales was up 14.6 per cent in the first quarter.
#2 We're splurging on iPhones: Despite the sluggish economy, consumers are still willing to plunk down US$400 to $500 for an iPhone.
#5 1984 Redux: We love Macs: Apple shipped more than 2 million Macs in the first quarter of this year -- that's a 51 per cent increase over last year. Strong global demand for Macs helped drive Apple's revenues up 43 per cent -- making it the best March quarter in Apple's history.
#1 We like to talk on our mobile phones: Carriers keep signing up wireless customers, and these customers are accessing more Web sites and sending more e-mails. Wireless data revenues grew 57.3 per cent for AT&T and 48.9 per cent for Verizon during the first three months of the year.
The US economy has slowed to a crawl in recent months, as housing values have plummeted and gas and food prices have skyrocketed. But the US tech industry is showing resilience. In the last two weeks, Verizon, Time Warner, Comcast and Cisco have joined the list of tech heavyweights reporting strong earnings for the first quarter of 2008.
#9 We still have jobs: Sure, some companies are laying off IT workers, but most of us are still employed. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the US IT workforce is at its highest point ever.
#3 We need broadband: Our houses may be worth less than a year ago, but we're not willing to cancel the cable or DSL and go back to dial-up.
#10 Our companies keep buying IT: Despite pervasive doom-and-gloom headlines, most companies are sticking with IT budget increases in 2008. A Gartner survey of 1,000-plus CIOs worldwide released in April found that 62 per cent of CIOs had no plans to change their 2008 IT budgets.
#6 Gamers are feeding their addiction: Grand Theft Auto IV debuted in late April to record-breaking first week sales. Analysts predicted GTA4 would sell 5.8 million units in the first week -- nearly double the current record set by Halo last year.