Microsoft says fashion gadgets now beat GucciConsumers get the latest gadget to be 'in' fashion

28 August 2009

Apple iPod Shuffle

Apple iPod Shuffle

Style-conscious consumers are putting gadgets before Gucci when it comes to looking good, says a new report.

Nearly half of the UK believes that showing off the latest new ‘in’ gadget is as important as what they’re wearing, according to the Microsoft report.

Around forty per cent of those surveyed said they would now rather buy a piece of technology than an item of clothing, and nearly six out of ten people admit to subtly leaving their new gadget on the table for envious friends to see.

Style over substance

Which? Computing’s gadget expert Andy Woodward, said: 'This is great news, as it's the only way I'm ever likely to be stylish! Hi-tech devices are no longer only for geeks, but have become mainstream fashion accessories. 

'Many companies try to impress upon us the stylishness of their products - Apple's iPods and iPhones are fine examples of this - and this research suggests that's a good way of making their products more popular.

'However, we look for substance behind the style when we test and review the latest gadgets.’

Cool gadgets

Forty per cent of over 1,000 people polled by Microsoft agree that the style and appearance of the gadgets they carry around with them is much more important now than it was five years ago and indeed critical to their overall look.

The ‘Microsoft Tech To Impress Report’ reveals that as people use technology on the go, and therefore in front of others, this increases the role that technology plays in one’s image and therefore places a far greater importance on having the ‘right’ looking gadgets.

The news is backed by consumer shopping habits which has seen spending of mobile technology rise by 14 per cent in the past five years, with nearly a quarter of the population saying that they buy a gadget based only on its appearance – regardless of whether they really needed it.

Women driving the trend

Young professional women are much more likely than men to own several portable gadgets such as mobile phones, digital cameras and laptops, according to the software giant.

Pat McNulty, Assistant Editor of InStyle online said: ‘Without any doubt, modern women are putting more of a focus than ever on the tech accessories they carry around with them to help complement their overall image.’

A Microsoft spokesman said, ‘This research is further proof of the social impact of the rise of mobile working. As more people use technology on the move and therefore in front of others, this places far more importance on the look of the accessories they are using than ever before.’

How to follow the latest Which? Tech news

Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.

Prefer RSS? Don't miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed

For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.

Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared - find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up - we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 - find the best laptop deals