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We are gadget mad

PCs lose street cred to mobile gizmos

People in the UK are gadget mad, carrying around £370 worth of electronic goods with them every day, according to a survey by (rather shrinking) retail giant Marks and Spencer.

The survey, carried out by M&S' Home Insurance department, estimated two-thirds of adults owned a mobile phone and almost a third had a portable music player.

"People have always liked gadgets," said a spokesperson at Firebox.com, an internet site dedicated to 'boys' toys'. "People find PCs boring - they simply aren't as exciting to show off to mates, whereas gadgets carry a high level of street cred."

The value of all gadgets and gizmos, such as Nintendo's forthcoming GameBoy Advance (pictured) is speeding towards the £17bn mark, the survey estimates.

"Exciting products are hitting the market faster than ever before and high-tech gadgets are now part of everyday life," said Lorraine Brannan, broker at M&S Home Insurance.

The growth in popularity of games consoles, and other such gadgets, may seem to indicate a move away from the PC, but experts say the PC has just too much staying power to be brushed aside.

"These machines are only going to augment your PC," said Peter Glaskowsky, analyst at Microdesign Resources, stressing such machines do not have the power or flexibility to replace existing desktops for the foreseeable future.

"Gadgets offer portability and that's what people want, but they are no threat to the PC," said a spokesperson at hardware retail site Dabs.com. "They should be seen as complimenting one another."

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