Category Archives: Basic cell phones

Inexorable Device Trends – Beyond the Niche, Fad, and Fizzle

Inexorable Device Trends – Beyond the Niche, Fad, and Fizzle – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, March 10, 2017

It can be exciting to see the hockey-stick charts, with everything up and to the right. It’s important to put the numbers into context, though, through a more grounded analysis of the active installed base. Yes, Apple’s long-climb into broader use of their triumvirate is substantial, Smartphones are quickly replacing basic cell phones, and PCs and Printers persist. Their market size confirms their importance.

We humans are wired to notice change. Our very eyes send more information about motion than background. While life-saving should tigers head our way, this capability can be our undoing if we miss gradual changes, like the slithering snake in the grass creeping towards us. Watching an installed base of technology has some parallels. For some, it can seem as if nothing is really changing even while important shifts are taking place.

For over 35 years, I have tracked technology usage trends and profiles, all calibrated by watching customers through surveys such as our Metafacts Technology User Profile. Among other truisms, I’ve seen that true technology trends aren’t sudden. Solid trends are the summation of the habits, preferences, and activities of millions of technology users. They’re inescapable, inexorable, and years in the making. Trends become truly important when they’ve spread beyond being a niche, fad, or fizzle, and reached beyond those first few early adopters.

In this analysis, I’m diving into several key broad dominant trends in technology device usage across American adults. In separate analyses, I’ll drill deeper into the next level of TUP data, revealing which market segments are making the most decisive changes. Continue reading

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Filed under Basic cell phones, Consumer research, Desktops, Devices, Market Sizing, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Operating systems, Printers, Smartphones, Trends, TUP 2016, TUPdate

What is the penetration of home-owned computing devices? (MetaFAQs)

Mobile phones dominate home-owned connected devices as the ones used by the greatest number of U.S. adults. As of our MetaFacts TUP 2016 US survey, 87% of U.S. adults used a smartphone or basic cell phone that was home-owned. Slightly trailing mobile phones, 81% of adults use a home PC. Media tablets are a distant third place, at 63% of U.S. adults.

MetaFacts defines home-owned devices as those which were acquired with personal funds. As released in our other MetaFacts TUP research, a substantial share of U.S. adults also use employer-provided, self-employment, school-owned, public, or other devices which are owned by someone other than themselves.metafacts-mq0137-250-dev_key-2017-02-22_09-32-36

Within mobile phones, home-owned smartphones outnumber home-owned basic cell phones, with nearly two-thirds (72%) of U.S. adults using a smartphone and just over one-fourth (27%) using a basic cell phone.

Among home PCs, desktops and Microsoft Windows PCs dominate. Home notebooks have grown to reach almost half (49%) of U.S. adults. Although the tech-savvy consider Windows XP and Vista PCs to be passé and even dangerously unprotected from malware, 4% of U.S. adults are still actively using Home PCs with these operating systems. While adoption of tech products can often be rapid, retirement of older technology from the active installed base can take much longer than many may expect. Continue reading

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Filed under Basic cell phones, Consumer research, Convertibles, Desktops, Devices, e-Book Readers, Market Research, Market Sizing, MetaFAQs, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Smartphones, Statistics, Tablets, TUP 2016

Device Primacy and OS – What we Hold Near (TUPdate)

Device Primacy and OS – What we Hold Near – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, January 18, 2017

Primacy. The first device you reach for, the one you stay near, the one you rely on. You might think that it’s the Smartphone, and that’s correct for many, but not all. For many activities and market segments, PCs and tablets dominate. A user’s activity focus affects which devices they choose most often, as does their operating system collection, among other factors.

Primacy by OS Family

All-Apple and all-Windows users are living in different worlds – as they have strikingly different preferences for their primary devices.
Among Apple-only users, Smartphones are the primary device for most types of activities. The PC (Mac or MacBook in this case) is their primary device for cloud storage/sharing and for search and information-related activities. Half (50%) of these adults using only Apple iOS or MacOS devices (no Microsoft Windows or Google Android or ChromeOS) do most of their cloud storage/sharing activities on a PC, and just under one-third (32%) primarily use a Smartphone.

In contrast, among Windows-only users, the PC is strongly the primary device for every major type of activity. Smartphones are only ranked second for productivity/personal and graphics/images activities. A tablet is the second choice for the greatest number of activity types – cloud storage/sharing, search/information, shopping, and social networking.metafacts-device-primacy-primary-secondary-device-2017-01-18_17-08-39

Apple’s iPad doesn’t rank as a second device for any type of activity among Apple-only users. This low level of primacy may seem surprising given that penetration of iPads is higher than average among this Apple-loyal segment. Sixty-one percent of Apple-only users regularly use an Apple iPad, more than double the national rate of 29%. This primacy analysis doesn’t mean Apple-only users aren’t enjoying their iPads – simply that they’re lower on the list of devices they choose for a wide range of activities.

Devices and Primacy
metafacts-device-primary-summary-170113
Across the entire base of connected adults, the PC is the leader for nearly every type of activity. The Swiss Army Knife broad nature of PCs continues its appeal. Smartphones only lead PCs for communications and graphics/imaging activities. Many of the specific activities in these two categories are strongly mobile – making phone calls, staying in touch, and taking and sharing photos.

OS Family

Connected Devices are dominated by three operating systems families – Microsoft Windows, Apple’s MacOS and iOS, and Google’s Android and Chrome OS. The base of Windows, once exclusively dominant, is well-overlapped by Apple and Google. The majority of users are living a multi-OS lifestyle, juggling more than OS family. The two largest OS combinations are nearly equal in market size. Just over one-fourth (26%) of users use connected devices running Windows and Google, and none with an Apple OS. Another fourth (25%) have Windows and Apple devices, with none as Google.metafacts-device-primacy-2017-01-12_16-25-15

Profile highlights of OS Family groups

It might be assumed that Apple-only users are early adopters while Windows-only users are laggards, partly explaining why they might choose different devices as primary or secondary. This is only partly true. The Windows-only users do include many tech laggards and the late majority, with 38% being the last of their age group to have first used a PC, mobile phone, or tablet. However, the Apple-only users aren’t especially early adopters, as 32% meet that definition, which is slightly less than the 33% nationwide who also do. There are other characteristics that set them apart.
Windows-only users are the oldest of the major OS family groups, on average 10 years older than every other group. They also include the smallest share of full-time employees, highest share of low-income households, and lowest average number of devices.metafacts-device-primacy-user-profile-highlights-by-os
Apple-only users have the highest share of younger millennials, have relatively high incomes, although are middling with respect to tech early adopters and laggards.
The jugglers of all three OS are the youngest, high incomes, more devices in use, and have the highest share of tech early adopters.

Activity types, primacy, ages and tech spending

Primacy of device by activity also varies with respect to the user’s age and consumer tech spending on devices and services. Younger adults aren’t necessarily the biggest tech spenders, nor are Smartphone users. In fact, those who primarily use their PCs for social networking or image/graphics activities are the biggest tech spenders and older than those who mostly use Smartphones for those activities.metafacts-device-primacy-age-device-spend-2017-01-18_12-36-08

The average age of adults who use a PC for the majority of their image/graphics activities – from managing photos to creating presentations – is 44, nearly five years older than those whose primary image/graphics device is a Smartphone. The graphics PC group also spends more than $1,450 per year more than Smartphone-focused users. Similarly, PC-focused Social Networkers are more than 8 years older and spend $730 more per year on consumer tech devices and services than their Smartphone counterparts.

Looking ahead

We expect tablets to continue to languish as a minor device for most users and most activity categories. As more 2-in-1 and convertible notebooks emerge and grow in acceptance, they will continue to relegate tablets to secondary or tertiary use.
Smartphones will continue their market penetration, replacing the basic cell phone among the last stalwart holdouts. Whether the last new Smartphone adopters will choose to go with Android or Apple Smartphones will set them on a course strongly affecting their next PC and tablet purchase. It’s most likely they will choose Google Android since this segment is more price-sensitive and less tech-savvy than average.
PCs will continue their gradual decline from primacy, to be replaced by Smartphones. Within PCs, there will be a broader division between the activity profiles for desktop and mobile PCs. We expect desktop PCs to continue their broad primary and secondary use, due to inertia and the as yet unmatched broad capabilities of PCs. Mobile PCs, however, while pressuring tablets, will themselves feel the strongest pressure from Smartphones as their broad usefulness continues to expand.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. This TUPdate is based on the TUP Life Stage section, which is within the TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter.

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Filed under Basic cell phones, Behaviors and Activities, Cloud Storage, Communication, Desktops, Devices, Entertainment, Graphics and Image, Information and Search, Market Sizing, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Shopping, Smartphones, Social Networking, Tablets, TUP 2016, TUPdate, Video calling

Tech for some of us? Tech usage and age (TUPdate)

Tech for some of us? Tech usage and age – Dan Ness, November 10, 2016

I’ve been to county fairs where a carnival seer will guess your age and weight. If these diviners were steeped in tech awareness, might they be able to go further and guesstimate if the person uses a video doorbell, 3D printer, or VR headset? I doubt it. Not being psychic, we rely on directly asking people through scientific surveys.

Although age alone doesn’t tell everything about a technology user, analysis of the market by age reveals some striking differences in user’s technology activities, use cases, consumer electronics penetration, connected device usage, and tech purchase intentions.MetaFacts td1611-plans-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-23-41

Market penetration is steeply skewed towards younger adults for most consumer electronics products and services. Analyzing our survey results from TUP 2016, most consumer electronics products index higher among younger than older adults. (An index of 100 means that the product is being used as the same rate as the national average.) Products that index well above 200 (double the national rate) for age 25-39 are many, including OTT TV Boxes ASUS Cube, Google Nexus Player and Google/Android TV. To dispel the notion this age group is sedentary, golf swing analyzers also index high. Furthermore, this group is tech-feathering their nests with video doorbells and smart locks.MetaFacts td16-elder-skewed-2016-11-09_16-51-10

Older adults can claim dominance in other consumer electronics products and services. Subscription to Cable TV is stronger among older than younger adults. Many younger adults that watch TV do so using the Internet. Turntables that play vinyl albums (Record Players) index more strongly among older adults. This may in part reflect that older adults may still have vinyl collections to play, while younger adults can either play newer more-expensive albums or track down older LPs. The elder-skewed usage indexes are not as strongly defined as those for youth-skewed, reflecting moderate use of both of these products and services among younger adults.

I know from decades of consumer research that age is only one factor describing technology users. So, I drilled down further into TUP to adjust for educational attainment and employment status. By rank order, the list of age-skewed consumer electronics is nearly identical by age for employed and self-employed adults. This pattern is similar for those who are college educated.

A similar pattern emerges for Connected Devices. Certain products are being used by a higher share of younger than older adults.MetaFacts td1611-devices-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-25-15

Interestingly, the highest-ranked youth-skewed top devices weren’t personally paid for by younger adults, and instead were bought by their employers. These range from work e-Book Readers and Tablets to All-in-One PCs and yes, Basic cell phones. When younger adults buy tech with their own money, two more highly-favored devices are Game Consoles and Apple MacBooks. Furthermore, whether as a sign of mobility, resourcefulness or freeloading, younger adults index higher for use of a public/shared printer, such as might be in a cybercafé, library, or hotel business center. They also index higher for using three or more printers, regardless of ownership.

There’s an old adage that goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is likely uttered more often among older than younger adults. The active installed base for older adults skews higher for Home PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Personal basic feature phones also index higher by older adults.MetaFacts td1611-devices-elder-skewed-2016-11-10_09-24-29

Considering the near future through buyer sentiment, a similarly distinctive young/old pattern emerges. Gaming Desktops and Gaming Notebooks, those highly-configured clocked-up fun machines, are skewed more steeply than current usage indexes. Smaller and often more-stylish PCs in the Mini Desktop PC form factor rank strongest. One product which might surprise some is the Apple iPod Touch. It’s effectively a Wi-Fi iPhone, capable of running many iOS apps although without cellular coverage. Since younger adults index higher for Work Basic feature phones, perhaps this device is a stepping stone or companion. Other notable youth-skewing planned devices include wearables – Android SmartWatch, Apple Watch, or another Smart Watch.

Purchase intentions skewed toward older adults shows a different picture. From the long list of technology products we surveyed about, none show a measurably strong skew among older adults. The three products even near to being stronger for purchase intentions are the basic cell phone, a printer, and traditional notebook PC. As I mentioned earlier, younger adults have a higher likelihood to be using a work or public/shared printer than older adults, which may contribute to them not being as eager to buy one of their own. As to traditional notebooks, younger adults are also the ones more strongly considering convertible and 2-in-1 designs, while also many consider traditionals. The picture for basic cell phones is scattered due to their continued decline, so any remaining plans are less aligned by age than by socioeconomic situation.MetaFacts td1611-plans-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-23-41

There’s another dimension to age that bears inclusion – experience. Newbie users make different choices than technology veterans. I dove into our technology adoption data in TUP to compare purchase plans by the longevity of the user’s experience. While those who are in the newest-third of users of PCs, Mobile Phones, or Tablets are also generally younger, that’s not entirely the case. First-time use for a Tablet is not limited to young adults; plenty of 30-something and 40-somethings are continuing to join the ranks of active Tablet users. In fact, 59% of adults who have used a Tablet PC for 1 year or less are age 35 and higher.MetaFacts td1611-plans-by-more-experience-2016-11-10_10-40-10

As we analyzed the purchase plans of the most-seasoned technology users – those who are in the top-third with the most years having used a PC, Mobile Phone, or Tablet, we found that purchase intentions are focused on different products than among newbies. 3D Printers, 2-in-1 Laptops, and Fitness trackers index much higher among the tech-experienced.

Gaming Notebooks, Gaming Desktops, and Mini Desktop PCs rank strongly among tech newbies. Some of this correlates strongly with lower age, as mentioned earlier. However, Tower Desktop PCs also rank strongly. Cloud Home Monitoring/Security solutions stand out as an up-and-coming area which are holding the interest of tech newbies, and less so among the tech-experienced.MetaFacts td1611-plans-by-less-experience-2016-11-10_10-40-10

Age is a good start in understanding technology users. But, like the skill of a carnival psychic, only goes so far.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

The TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter details age, as well as life stage, age cohort, employer size, and other key analysis points. The TUP 2016 Technology Adoption Chapter drills down into experience to profile Early Adopters, the Early and Late Majority, and Laggards.

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Filed under 3D Printers, Basic cell phones, Behaviors and Activities, Convertibles, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, Devices, e-Book Readers, Game Consoles, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Printers, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Shifts Ahead in the Windows Installed Base (TUPdate)

Shifts Ahead in the Windows Installed Base – Dan Ness, November 3, 2016

Any large installed base doesn’t always stay that way. Fickle customers continue experimenting and switching between platforms and ecosystems. Microsoft continues to meet challenges from Apple, Google, and countless others, as users continue their quest for what they see as the best. Despite the size and breadth of the installed base, Microsoft’s customers for certain products and services are not as average as may be expected.

Actively Used Windows Devices by Type

Understanding just how large the Windows installed base is begins with some basic measurements. How many adults use Windows OS devices, and which types of devices dominate?metafacts-metafaqs-mq0674-2016-11-03_12-22-31

Most American adults use a Windows device, with 170.4 million using some type of key connected device. This means more than three-quarters (78%) of American adults use any combination of one or more Windows PCs, Smartphones or Tablets.

This level of dominance appears to spell strong security for Microsoft. It’s important to look one level more deeply – to the types of devices being actively used which are and aren’t using Windows.

Another 47.8 million adults are actively using a connected device using any other operating system than Windows. This defines a substantial portion of the market outside of Microsoft’s Windows ecosystem.

Microsoft Windows’s strongest domain is on Desktop and Notebook PCs. 166.3 million adults actively use a Windows PC, while 27.6 million only use a PC (or Mac) that doesn’t run Windows.

When it comes to Smartphones, Microsoft Windows hasn’t made a substantial lasting presence. Of the 170.6 million adults using a Smartphone, only 4.5 million use a Windows Smartphone.

Tablets have been stronger for Microsoft, especially with its relatively recent release of the Microsoft Surface line. Of the 132.9 million US adults who regularly use a Tablet, 25.6 million run Windows.

Size of the Active PC Installed Base

How many adults use PCs, and which operating systems dominate?metafacts-metafaqs-mq0675-2016-11-02_12-54-40

PCs continue to dominate the collection of connected devices in active use. 193.9 million adult Americans use a Windows, Mac or Google Chrome OS PC. There are connected adults who don’t use a PC, and these number 24.3 million.

The lion’s share of adults actively use PCs running Microsoft Windows. 166.3 million adults actively use a Windows PC, while 27.6 million only use an Apple Mac or Chromebook.

Apple has a much smaller share of adults who use one of their Macs or MacBooks. 44.4 million adults actively use an Apple PC. There is an overlap of 24.2 million adults, meaning that over half of Apple MacOS users also actively use a Windows PC. Looked at from Microsoft’s perspective, only 15% of Windows users actively use an Apple PC.

Google’s Chrome OS PCs have a nominal share. 3.1 million adults actively use a Google OS PC.

Size of the Active Smartphone Installed Base

How many adults use Smartphones, and which operating systems dominate?metafacts-metafaqs-mq0676-2016-11-03_10-10-23

170.7 million adult Americans use a Smartphone, using Google Android, Apple, Windows or any other OS. At 78% of connected adults, this penetration is very high.

Another 47.5 million use a connected device other than a Smartphone. We expect most these holdouts, many of whom are using Basic feature phones, to eventually migrate to a Smartphone, if begrudgingly.

However, the majority of new Smartphone sales will be into a replacement market, as subscribers update their handsets.

Google Android leads now in Smartphones. With 80.8 million adults million adults actively use a Google Android Smartphone, this is slightly higher than Apple’s 77.8 million adult iPhone users. Microsoft Windows phones, however, are only in the hands of 4.5 million connected adults.

Size of the Active Tablet Installed Base

132.9 million adults are using at least one Tablet, leaving 85.3 million connected adults not actively using one.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0677-2016-11-03_10-47-14

Apple’s iPad has the largest share of the installed base, with 63 million active users. Apple’s share, however, has been shrinking with broader acceptance of increasingly sophisticated and more heavily marketed tables using Android and Windows.

With 36 million Android Tablet users, Google has a strong base, even if well behind Apple’s.

Windows, with 25.6 million users, lags behind both leaders. However, considering that Windows Surface tablets were released starting in 2012, expanding to this size base is impressive.

The Shifting Desktop PC OS Share

The current installed base of Desktop PCs is dominated by Microsoft Windows.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0678-2016-11-03_12-13-15

Apple has started to make inroads with its Macs. Among the newest Desktop PCs in the installed based, , Apple’s share is effectively one-in-five, at 21%. This is stronger than Apple Macs in the installed base which were acquired in 2015, where Apple’s share is one-in-six, at 17%.

The Shifting Notebook PC OS Share

The current installed base of Notebook PCs continues to be dominated by Microsoft Windows. Apple has gained a substantial share, with nearly one-quarter (24%) of the installed base.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0679-2016-11-03_12-18-03

Historically, Apple has been very strong among younger adults, especially students. In fact, while 77% of adult students use some type of Windows PC, this is a smaller share than the average adult. At the same time, one-third (33%) of students use at least one type of Apple Desktop or Notebook, a share substantially higher than the national rate of 23%.

Google’s Chromebooks, although have achieved broad media attention, are only being actively used by very few users. Among adults using Notebooks acquired in the first half of 2016, Google’s share is 3%, and 4% for those acquired in 2015.

The Shifting Smartphone OS Share

Microsoft only has a sliver of the Smartphone market. The current installed base of Smartphones in the US is dominated by Google (Android) and Apple (iOS).metafacts-metafaqs-mq0680-2016-11-03_11-40-58

In the total active installed base, Google has a nearly-identical share to Apple.

Looking more deeply into which OS dominates newer phones in the US, Google has the largest share. Just over half – 55% – of Smartphones acquired in the first half of 2016 are using Google Android. That’s up from half (50%) of Smartphones acquired in 2015, and even lower shares in older Smartphones.

Windows Smartphones are ranked 3rd, with a nominal share that’s been declining.

The Shifting Tablet OS Share

Microsoft Windows has a fresher share of the installed base of actively used tablets than ever before. Despite that, Windows tablets are ranked 3rd behind Apple iOS and Google Android.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0681-2016-11-03_11-52-08

Apple’s iPad is the darling of Tablets, currently with the dominant share of the installed base of actively used tablets in the US.

However, Apple’s dominance has been challenged by both Microsoft and Google Android tablets. Apple’s share is still dominant among recently-acquired Tablets, and yet the trend isn’t favorable. Apple has its largest share among older tablets actively used in the installed base.

Google Android & Chrome OS tablets have a share growing towards Apple’s, and are a substantial threat to both Microsoft and Apple.

Looking Ahead

We’ve found predictive power in looking at tech purchase plans in the context of what they are already using. Among other factors, habit and inertia are strong among many consumers.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0682-2016-11-03_13-53-46

Google has some positive prospects. Consumers who have been avoiding Google devices make up the strongest segment planning to buy a Chromebook, and are relatively strong for Android Tablets and Smartwatches. It’s not surprising that another strong segment for Chromebooks are those avid tech device collectors who have all 3 major OS families – Windows, Apple, and Google.

Plans for Apple products, however, aren’t showing strong growth prospects outside of Apple’s base. Apple avoiders are one of the smallest segments with plans to buy an Apple iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch. There is home from the accumulators – those active consumers who are using all three OS.

Purchase plans for Microsoft Windows Smartphones are coming from a mixture of the converted and departed. Nearly as many are Google avoiders as have all 3 OS. Also Windows-only devotees have plans to stay within the fold for their next Smartphone.

Looking ahead, Microsoft’s recent desktop PC announcement with the Surface Studio was received favorably by many tech reporters and analysts. Although most likely to be bought by high-end creatives, technology-laden products like this can have a halo effect on franchises like Windows, lending them an advanced aura. This sizzle, in turn, can help stem the tide of users who have been switching away from Windows.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

The TUP 2016 Devices Chapter details device combinations, as well as device primacy, OS Ecosystems, brand footprint, and other key analysis points.

Comments Off on Shifts Ahead in the Windows Installed Base (TUPdate)

Filed under Basic cell phones, Desktops, Market Sizing, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Smartphones, Statistics, Tablets, Tech Market, TUP 2016, TUPdate