By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
October 5, 2009

Approximately 12% of U.S. computer households own an Apple (AAPL) computer, up from 9% in 2008, according to the results of a survey released Monday morning by the NPD group.

But here’s the kicker: the vast majority — 85% — also own at least one PC running Microsoft (MSFT) Windows.

There’s a simple explanation for this. Mac users tend to own a lot more computers. In fact, 66% of Mac households own three or more computers, according to NPD, compared with 29% of Windows households. This probably means that Mac users know more about Windows than Windows users know about Macs.

More than 2,300 NPD panelists completed the survey. Among its other findings:

  • Mac owners are richer. 36% have household incomes greater than $100,000, compared with 21% of all U.S. consumers.
  • Mac households are more mobile. 72% own a notebook computer, compared with 50% of Windows PC households.
  • Mac users have more iPods. 63% own an iPod, compared with 36% of all computer-owning households
  • Nearly 50% of Mac households own some kind of electronic navigation system, compared with 30% of all computer-owning households.
  • In general, Mac users own a lot more gadgets. The average Apple household owns 48 consumer electronic devices, compared with an average of 24 in all computer-owning households. (See chart below.)

Said NPD vice president Stephen Baker, in conclusion: “Apple household owners’ actions and purchases can be used by the industry as leading indicators for hot new products and adoption.”

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