Multi-Platform Usage Shifts-Solid market research from MetaFacts Technology User Profile

  • Are Smartphones replacingcou PCs? Have they already? Which market segments have and which haven’t?
  • Have netbooks, tablets, and eReaders replaced desktops?
  • Have GPS/PND devices been replaced by direction-finding smartphone apps?

Extensive solid information about multi-platform usage shifts–who accesses what technology, and where and how they do it–is available in TUP – Technology User Profile.

As consumers’ options for communication, entertainment, and organization grow, one thing seems to stay the same:  change. The more choices that choosy consumers have, the more choices they want, and if they can get it all in one package–even better. But that may not mean that smartphones are replacing PCs–when you can have all the options in one place, certain consumers prefer a few devices to choose between.

Below are a few examples of questions addressed in TUP related to the multi-platform reality. The full TUP service enables drilling down beyond the answers to these questions to identify which other technologies, services and behaviors 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, since it provides dynamic data to answer the following key questions, as well as many others.

  • Is the smartphone killing PC shopping?
  • Which segments are keeping their files, calendars, or other information synchronized or backed up online?
  • How are users communicating, given all their communication options?
  • Primacy – what is the center of the user’s world? Their home PC, work PC, mobile phone? Is it one device or many?
  • How many screens do people view? Which market segments view more screens than other segments?
  • 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?
  • What is the mix of communication products and services – landline, wireless, email, IM, etc. – by segment?
  • Who is videoconferencing, and using which platform?
  • Which segments are the most music-intensive? What is the overlap of music-centered products and services by segment?
  • To what extent does game-playing drive online usage specifically and tech usage overall?
  • How many and which segments are watching and renting movies on which platforms?
  • Netbooks – how soon and with which market segments?
  • Multitasking – who’s using lots of devices for lots of apps, few devices many apps, etc.?
  • What is the impact on privacy in use of social networking?
  • Who is using mobile payments?
  • How have PC/Online & Mobile Phone activities changed? How might this affect apps?
  • Do game players bring their gaming with them into the workplace? To what extent? Which market segment does this the most?
  • Who are the true early adopters and laggards? How does this vary by actual usage of specific products and technologies?
  • Which smartphone OS is leading, and with which market segments?
  • How much have PC users integrated PCs into their personal lives?
  • What do most people do with their mobile phone as compared to their PC? Which align with which platforms?
  • 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?
  • When do you grow up and give up on your Apple? When do get one again, if you do?
  • Who’s busiest – desktop users or notebook users? How do their profiles differ?
  • Netbooks – are they replacing notebooks? Stalling smartphones? Withering?
  • Which segments are using which devices & carriers? For which activities?
  • Age-related market adoption – which products and services are age-skewed? Which are skewed toward older rather than younger users?
  • Who is buying the highest-end PCs? Are there brand differences? What else do users buy and what else do they use?
  • What other activities are just outside the box for gamers? Online dating? Social Networking? Music? Movies? Entertainment in general?
  • Most-mobile customers – where do they go and what do they do?
  • iPhone users – who are they really? How do they compare with Android, Windows, and Blackberry users?
  • 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?
  • What types and combinations of consumer electronics are homes using and planning to use?
  • In reality, how deeply has the Apple iPod penetrated the market, and into which market segments?
  • How many people use calendars on their PC, their mobile phone, or both? Which types of people are these?
  • How are smartphones challenging mobile PCs? Which market segments are coalescing around which platforms?
  • Is email being replaced by alternatives such as social networking, texting, or IM?
  • How prominent is Home PC renting versus outright purchase?
  • Have game-players been the first to adopt new products such as the Apple iPhone? Or, are they generally later adopters?
  • Is it really one to a customer? How often are PCs shared? Which market segments use more than one PC?
  • What are the overall future trends for the Internet?
  • 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?
  • Which operating systems dominate within which segments?
  • How much of the game-playing population is older versus younger?
  • Special printer paper? Who uses it and what for? Is it only photos, or something else?
  • How are users incorporating digital images, through the use of digital cameras, scanners, downloading images, as well as how are they producing output?
  • What makes a smartphone a smartphone in the consumer’s eyes? How does usage compare to basic mobile phones? What are the user segments?
  • Which market segments are dating online? What else do they frequently do online?
  • What about the anti-social – those that aren’t in an online social network? Who are they?
  • How does the life and lifespan of a PC vary by form factor? Does it vary by brand? By user segment?
  • How prominent is printing images from mobile phones?
  • Tech adoption cycles may not be as fast as the tech-focused think. How many and which users still use film cameras?
  • Which segments are utilizing the cloud? For which activities?
  • Navigation, online maps, location-based mobile phone services, and GPS – who’s getting directions?
  • Are mobile computers used longer or shorter than desktops? If so, what’s the difference, and who uses them longest?
  • What are consumers planning to buy? (in consumer electronics, connected home, computers, Internet, etc.)
  • How much is assisted navigation part of life – and on which platform?
  • Do users find their PCs to be more useful or less useful? Which users are the most practically-oriented?
  • How tech-experienced are game-players?
  • Which market segments are renting movies? Are they renting DVDs at a retailer, by mail, or at a kiosk? Do they watch them online?
  • What happens to old PCs? Are they dumped? Recycled? Sold? Which segments dispose in which way?
  • What are the major activities that people do with their printers?
  • 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?
  • How rich is the user’s printing experience? Do they use only one printer or more than one? For multi-printer users, which ones do they use? Who are the most-active printer users?
  • Do PC users behave differently as they gain more experience? Are Newbies or Vets mostly focusing on certain activities versus a broad mixture?
  • How do the market segments of mobile phone platforms vary?
  • How social-network active are the various tiers of gamers?
  • How central is game-playing to the general population? How about within certain key market 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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