Planned consumer electronics spending is up this year, and Apple is driving much of it



Click to enlarge. Source: ChangeWave Research

Apple AAPL is the hero of a survey of 2,812 American consumers released Wednesday to members of the ChangeWave network.

The survey, conducted earlier this month, asked mostly high-end consumers about their home entertainment shopping plans for the holidays, including such products as laptops, desktops, iPads, e-readers and other personal gadgets.

More than one-in-four respondents (26%) said they plan to spend more on consumer electronics over the next 90 days, and 10% said they plan to buy a laptop in the next 90 days — the highest level recorded in a ChangeWave survey in three years.

“The manufacturer most responsible for the surge in laptop demand is Apple,” writes research director Paul Carton, “with 36% of planned laptops buyers saying they’ll purchase a Mac – a huge 11-pt jump since our previous survey of a month ago (Oct ’10).

“Simply put,” he writes, “it’s the highest level of planned laptop buying ever for Apple in a ChangeWave survey.”

The full report has not yet been released to the public, but it can be purchased for $1,500 here.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]