ICM Research has published figures revealing Apple to be the second most likely choice for UK computer users looking to upgrade their systems.

Published within ICM's Tech Tracker report for November 2001, the Future Purchase Plans section shows 17 per cent of 1,001 respondents may buy a computer in the near future; 14 per cent of these are considering Apple.

After Dell, Apple is the second most-recognized computer manufacturer, with 22 per cent of the test group being aware of the brand, against 23 per cent aware of Dell.

ICM reports: "Awareness of all brands is higher in the 35-54 year old age group. The exception to this is Apple. Awareness of Apple is higher both among females and also among a younger target audience - 18-34 year olds."

Apple's advertising is achieving some interesting results, with female respondents more aware of its advertising, recalling Apple ads over the past six months. Apple scored 11 per cent recognition by females in this category, higher than any other manufacturer. Males were more aware (23 per cent) of Dell's ads than Apple's (14 per cent).

The report states: "Manufacturers could be capitalizing more on the female market than they are – current marketing messages appear to have far more impact on men."

Apple's image is clearly attracting attention, according to the results. Females seem more likely to choose a Mac as an upgrade option - 12 per cent of those looking to upgrade planned to choose Apple, and 7 per cent Dell. 16 per cent of men chose Apple, with 25 per cent opting for Dell products.

The analysts report states: "Around two in ten people are thinking or buying or replacing a computer within the next 12 months. This equates to approximately 7.5 million adults aged 18 or over in the UK population as a whole, a sizeable proportion of new purchases given the current economic climate."

Additionally, ICM's findings reveal that almost equal numbers will be buying for the first time as those replacing their computer.

"A further demonstration that the recession is not affecting computer home purchases as badly as it is predicted to do in the business sector," the report says.