Mobility doesn’t always mean mobile use

It may come as a surprise to many PC makers and users that mobile PCs aren’t all that mobile in actual use. Three in seven (43%) are regularly used in only one location. That is, they act literally as a desktop replacement, not for their portability. Understanding that many American consumers like to have more technology than they need, it’s understandable that they would pay a portability premium, almost as insurance. That actual portability isn’t a main use of mobile PCs may also be a surprise to those expecting or touting a wholesale migration to netbooks. This product class, a third generation of ultralight, lower-cost, ultraportable or diskless PCs has been marginalized over the last three decades. Historically, these products have fallen into a niche gap by having less functionality that general-purpose users want, and simultaneously having more weight, cost, or inconvenience than single-purpose products. This latest netbook design label has yet another challenge ahead until the wireless infrastructure is more fully built out.

One-quarter (26%) of mobile PCs users are relatively mobile, regularly using their mobile PCs in two or three locations, most often between home and the workplace.

One-third (32%) of mobile PCs are used in four or more locations. These range from multiple locations within the home – living room, home office, adult’s bedroom, or kitchen – to workplaces, hotels, planes & trains, and coffee shops such as Starbucks.

# of Locations Mobile PCS are Used - Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

# of Locations Mobile PCS are Used – Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

   The Mobile PC Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website –

Other findings in the Mobile PC Profile Report include:

Brand Shares of Mobile & Desktop PCs
Mobile PC Brands by Year Acquired
Market Segments and Mobile PC Brands
Operating Systems & Mobility
Operating Systems on Mobile PCs – Pre-installed or Aftermarket?
Operating Systems by Mobile PC Brand
User Age and Mobile Computing
User Age and Mobile PC Brand
User Gender and Mobile PC Brand
Age within Gender of Primary Computer User and Mobile PC Brand
Number of Locations by Gender and Age
Employment Status and Mobile Computing
Employment Status and Mobile PC Brands
Market Segment by Mobile PC Brand
Big & Small Companies and PC Mobility
Educational Level and Mobile PC Brand
Household Income by Mobile PC Brand
Age of Kids and Mobility of PC
Mobility Doesn’t Always Mean Mobile Use
Locations for Mobile PCs
Public PC Locations by Mobile PC Brand
Mobile PC Brand by Number of Locations Used
Mobile PC Users and the Total Number of PCs Used
Mobile PC Brand by Number of PCs Regularly Used
PC Purchase Year by Mobility
New versus Used/Refurbished by Mobile PC Brand
Hours of Use by Mobile PC Brand
Busy Mobile PCs and Mobile PC Brands
Activities and Mobility
Major Activities Point Out that Mobile PC Brands Vary
Tech Attitude Gap between Mobile PC and Desktop Users
Tech Attitudes by Mobile PC Brand
Brand Loyalty by Mobile PC Brand
Scanners by Mobile PC Brand
Docking Solutions by Mobile PC Brand
Firewire Usage by Mobile PC Brand
Sony Mobile PC Users Shop at a Broader Selection of Outlets
Which Mobile PC Users Frequent which Online and Retail Outlets
Retail Purchase Channels & Outlets by Mobile PC Brand
Online Purchase Channels & Outlets by Mobile PC Brand

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008

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