The Personal Computer Market — solid market research from MetaFacts Technology User Profile

Extensive information about the personal computer market is available in TUP – Technology User Profile.

Despite the on-the-go lifestyle of the technology consumer, there’s still a sense that “home is where the heart is.”  It seems that home and work desktop PCs, while no longer the only option, still have a place in the tech-race. As mobile devices develop more PC-like qualities, and as desktops grow out of clunkerhood, each spurs the other on to top the market.

Below are a few examples of questions addressed in TUP related to the PC market. The full TUP service enables drilling down beyond the answers to these questions to identify which other technologies and services are disruptive and to profile which market segments are and aren’t adopting. TUP is much more than a one-dimensional market view or opinion piece, providing access to answers to the following questions as well as many others.

  • Primacy – what is the center of the user’s world? Their home PC, work PC, mobile phone? Is it one device or many?
  • How does PC and online usage vary cross segments such as workplace company size or industry?
  • How much have PC users integrated PCs into their personal lives?
  • Which PC brands dominate the PC market? How does this vary within brand segment?
  • Age-related market adoption – which products and services are age-skewed? Which are skewed toward older rather than younger users?
  • When do you grow up and give up on your Apple? When do get one again, if you do?
  • How have PC/Online & Mobile Phone activities changed? How might this affect apps?
  • Do users find their PCs to be more useful or less useful? Which users are the most practically-oriented?
  • How prominent is Home PC renting versus outright purchase?
  • Do PC users behave differently as they gain more experience? Are Newbies or Vets mostly focusing on certain activities versus a broad mixture?
  • Used/Refurbished PCs – who buys them?
  • Are mobile computers used longer or shorter than desktops? If so, what’s the difference, and who uses them longest?
  • What channels do people use for buying PCs? How about printers and printer supplies?
  • Who’s busiest – desktop users or notebook users? How do their profiles differ?
  • Most-mobile customers – where do they go and what do they do?
  • Who is buying the highest-end PCs? Are there brand differences? What else do users buy and what else do they use?
  • How is HP’s PC penetration within the overall HP market footprint?
  • How are smartphones challenging mobile PCs? Which market segments are coalescing around which platforms?
  • What are the leading PC brands among Hewlett Packard printer users?  How does this differ for the other major printer vendors?
  • How does the life and lifespan of a PC vary by form factor? Does it vary by brand? By user segment?
  • How does Hewlett Packard’s market share differ between the different types of printers (inkjet, multifunction, laser, etc.)?
  • What are consumers planning to buy? (in consumer electronics, connected home, computers, Internet, etc.)
  • Is the smartphone killing PC shopping?
  • Netbooks – are they replacing notebooks? Stalling smartphones? Withering?
  • What is the impact on privacy in use of social networking?
  • What are the overall future trends for the Internet?
  • Which operating systems dominate within which segments?
  • How do consumer attitudes about purchasing technology differ between Apple, Hewlett Packard and Dell customers?
  • Are PC users primarily accessing the Internet at home, in the workplace, using friends or neighbor’s computers, or in public places such as libraries or cybercafés? Which users use other’s PCs and which have many to choose from? Are smartphones or netbooks changing this?
  • Entertainment primacy – what is the center of the user’s home entertainment world? Is it one device or many? Which devices and services, and among which segments?
  • How has the division of work vs. personal use of technology products continued to blur?
  • Which tech buyers focus more on retail than shopping online and vice versa?
  • To what extent have Dell and Lexmark penetrated the printer market? Which segments have they penetrated? What is Hewlett Packard’s share among Dell computer owners and Dell or Lexmark printer owners and has this changed?
  • How many online adults use dial-up to go online, and which countries stand out?
  • How strong is name-brand dominance?
  • Netbooks – how soon and with which market segments?
  • Are Apple’s best customers really unique?
  • Is it really one to a customer? How often are PCs shared? Which market segments use more than one PC?
  • What is the mix of communication products and services – landline, wireless, email, IM, etc. – by segment?
  • What’s typically bundled with a PC?
  • What’s the likely near-term outcome for an OS upgrade?
  • Who are the true early adopters and laggards? How does this vary by actual usage of specific products and technologies?
  • Which market segments are dating online? What else do they frequently do online?
  • What do most people do with their mobile phone as compared to their PC? Which align with which platforms?
  • How many and which segments are watching and renting movies on which platforms?
  • What is the tech-owning profile of active gamers? High-bandwidth or dial-up? Many consumer electronics entertainment products or focused on gaming? Many computers or few? How does this vary by segment?
  • What other activities are just outside the box for gamers? Online dating? Social Networking? Music? Movies? Entertainment in general?
  • How do ad volumes affect usage?
  • What other items (printers, software, monitors/displays, extended service plan, etc.) do people typically buy with their PC purchase?
  • Who is videoconferencing, and using which platform?
  • What types and combinations of consumer electronics are homes using and planning to use?
  • How many seniors are online? How is their behavior different than younger online users?
  • How tech-sophisticated are game-players, within key gaming segments?
  • Do game players bring their gaming with them into the workplace? To what extent? Which market segment does this the most?
  • Is social networking only for certain age groups? How different are usage patterns by age?
  • How social-network active are the various tiers of gamers?
  • Special printer paper? Who uses it and what for? Is it only photos, or something else?
  • To what extent does game-playing drive online usage specifically and tech usage overall?
  • What do users sync or “store” in the cloud? How does this differ between mobile phones and PCs? How do users share images – social networking sites or photo-specific sites? Which users are the most active?
  • How are users communicating, given all their communication options?
  • Which activities are different for dial-up than broadband? What’s driving bandwidth needs?
  • Which segments are keeping their files, calendars, or other information synchronized or backed up online?
  • Tech adoption cycles may not be as fast as the tech-focused think. How many and which users still use film cameras?
  • How prominent is printing images from mobile phones?
  • Navigation, online maps, location-based mobile phone services, and GPS – who’s getting directions?
  • Multitasking – who’s using lots of devices for lots of apps, few devices many apps, etc.?
  • Which segments are the most music-intensive? What is the overlap of music-centered products and services by segment?
  • What happens to old PCs? Are they dumped? Recycled? Sold? Which segments dispose in which way?
  • Are youngsters abandoning (traditional) TV?
  • How many people use calendars on their PC, their mobile phone, or both? Which types of people are these?
  • How do online shopping activities differ between Hewlett Packard, Apple and Dell customers?
  • How important is privacy when getting rid of old computers?
  • How many screens do people view? Which market segments view more screens than other segments?

If solid answers to any of these questions would help your work in creating the future, please contact MetaFacts.

MetaFacts, Inc. helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers.

Current subscribers of Technology User Profile may obtain this information directly from MetaFacts, as well as additional customized drilling down into the full dataset.

For more information on the results delivered in TUP and about how to subscribe, please contact MetaFacts.

The above questions are answered with the TUP 2010 edition, and even more questions are answered in the TUP 2011 edition.

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