Category Archives: Desktops

Technology Spending – Beyond Owned Gadgets

Technology Spending – Beyond Owned Gadgets – A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, March 30, 2017

Tech spending – it’s mostly driven by living in the moment, through month-to-month subscriptions and on-demand content. Spending on tech devices, while substantial, is only a fraction of annual household spending. US household tech spending is also dominated a few big spenders.

During the full year of 2015, 90% of household technology spending was for services and 10% for devices. Total household tech spending averaged $7.9 thousand for the year. Most of this spending was concentrated among the top 25% of spenders. In 2015, the Top Quartile of adults spent $23.6 thousand on average for technology services and devices.

For these biggest tech spenders, services make up 93% of the technology spend. This is in contrast to the Bottom Quartile of spenders, whose spending is more equally balanced, with 63.6% going for services and 36.4% for devices.

After users have acquired their tech devices, bigger spenders add more technology services, and the services they use cost more than those chosen by lesser spenders. The Bottom Quartile of tech spenders are more likely to use fewer services and rely on fewer or unpaid connections, whether in libraries, cybercafés, or workplaces. Also, users in the Bottom Quartile are more likely to actively use Refurbished devices than bigger spenders.

Are younger adults the biggest spenders?

It can seem handy to contend that younger people spend more on technology than older people. However, age as a predictor of technology usage, adoption, or spending is a myth that’s only partly true. Age alone doesn’t signify tech spending, although it’s a key predictive factor.

Life Stage offers a more complete picture, as it combines age with employment status and presence of children. One Life Stage segment stands out as the biggest tech spenders – adults age 18-39 who are employed and have children. At $13,097 on average for total tech spending in 2015, their spending is effectively double similarly-aged adults, whether employed or not, and with or without children in the household.

Older adults (age 40+) which are employed and have children in the household are the second-biggest life stage group, with an average annual spend of $9,193.

The remaining Life Stage segments are similar with each other in average spending levels – whether younger or older, employed or not, and with or without children in the household.

Tech Spending – where the money goes

The majority of technology spending is in three categories – Internet services & equipment, Mobile phones and service, and consumer electronics and content. Just over one-fourth (26%) of household technology spending went to Internet Services & Equipment, the routers and modems to connect PCs and IoT devices to the Internet, as well as the various fees for ISPs and Internet services, such as cloud-based file storage and sharing.

Mobile phones make up nearly a quarter of spending (24%), including Smartphones and Basic cell phones, and the cell phone service, data plan, apps, games, and related fees.

The third-largest household tech spending category is Consumer Electronics, spanning TVs to game consoles and TV/movie subscription, rental services, and games.

PCs and Printers each represent 9% of household tech spending. PC spending is primarily for the hardware, as PC-related services are minimal. The reverse is true for Printers, where most of the spending is on consumables such as ink and paper.

The technology spending mix for big spenders versus low spenders

Spending on Consumer Electronics are a higher share of spending among the biggest tech spenders than lesser spenders. The top one-fourth of Connected Adults who spend the most, spend 24% of their tech dollars on Consumer Electronics products and services. In stark contrast, the bottom quartile of spenders spend only 7%.

Instead, the Bottom Quartile have more of their dollars going to Mobile Phone devices and services – 34% – versus only 22% among the Top Quartile.

The share of tech spending for Internet services and devices is nearly the same rate regardless of quartile, ranging between 25% and 27%.

For lower-income and lesser-spending households, Smartphones and Basic cell phones are almost a lifeline, often acting as the single or primary way to connect to the Internet.

Streaming and spending

A higher share of big spenders use paid streaming services than by lesser spenders. This is especially true for video streaming, which is used by slightly over a quarter (26%) of the Bottom Quartile, versus 44% of the Top Quartile.

Paid music streaming is only slightly higher among the Top Quartile (80%) than among the Bottom Quartile (74%).

Interestingly, users of paid streaming music services also actively use free streaming music services. Although streaming music providers Pandora, Spotify, and others work hard to have collections which are large, popular, and current, many consumers have a healthier appetite and use more than one service.

Looking Ahead

Technology spending has continued to increase as a share of total household discretionary spending. We expect spending growth to continue, even among the Bottom Quartile of spenders.

Since Internet service is such a large part of household tech spending for all, we expect any changes in these services to have a major impact on total spending.

The debate continues whether Internet access is a privilege or basic human need. Organizations from retailers and hospitals to schools and governments continue to move more of their operations online to better and more cost-effectively support their customers and constituents. This will strengthen market demand, as ordinary citizens will increasingly rely on their technology devices and services for everyday shopping, education, and government services.

At the same time, the US Federal Government has recently announced policy shifts away from subsidizing further broadband adoption to more of the populace. Whether states or regional governments will move to make up what’s being reduced remains to be seen. While we expect demand and reliance on connectivity to increase, we’ll also see continued creative approaches by those most affected – the Bottom Quartile.

While hardwired connections support the broadest range of users, wireless bandwidth and coverage continues to increase for many. Capability continues to lag user demand, as data-hungry users broaden their Internet-intensive activities and collection of actively-used devices.

Even the Top Quartile of spenders rely on their high-speed connections and cell signal. Ask any accomplished yogi to momentarily forgo using their Smartphone or (gasp) Wi-Fi and you’ll likely get a demonstration of their skills in managing their breath – and temper.

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 was based on results in the TUP Chapter – Tech Spending.

 

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How Do (They) Love Thee? Follow Their Brand Footprints

How Do (They) Love Thee? Follow Their Brand Footprints – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, March 17, 2017

“How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways.” So begins the 43rd of Elizabeth Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. After more than 160 years, this poetry still inspires.
This classic poem seems fitting for a research-based understanding of customer loyalty and, well, mutual loyalty and love. One might hope that love and loyalty would flow in both directions – between customers and company – and in turn would result in more delighted customers, better products and services, and more customers actively using more of a brand’s offerings. In addition to brand footprint measures such as market size and intensity, MetaFacts measures the shape, loyalty, and quality of technology users.

Apple’s Intensity Up and To the Right

Apple’s customers now rank highest in average number of Apple devices, an elemental measure of brand footprint, reflecting in part the intensity of customer’s involvement. When customers use more than one of a brand’s offerings, it reflects the value customers see and their depth of customer loyalty. Based on our most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP), Apple’s customers are actively using an average of 2.18 devices, spanning Macs, iPhones, iPads, an Apple TV box, Apple Watch, or some combination. Only one year earlier, our TUP 2015 wave reported that Apple’s device average was effectively on par with the footprint of Microsoft Windows devices.
Between 2014 and 2016, HP and Google Android/Chrome OS devices have seen their customer’s active device averages erode as Apple’s has gained. This is due in part to consumers abandoning older Google Android Tablets. Dell’s average rose slightly in 2015, only to sag slightly by 2016.

Breadth Coupled With Intensity

Breadth of usage, or market penetration, is another dimension of brand footprint. Coupled with intensity – as expressed by the average number of actively-used devices – a more complete view is clearer.

In market breadth and intensity, Windows devices are head and shoulders above other brands. Windows is in the upper-right quadrant for both measures. The long-time established brand continues to have the largest number of active users and above-average mean number of actively-used devices.
Apple stands out for having a market penetration on par with tech majors HP, Google, and Dell, yet with a strongly higher usage intensity. Their fewer, if mightier, customers have more Apple products than any other platform. In a quadrant to themselves, Apple’s expansion in active usage sets the stage for additional expanded offerings to their loyal customers, ranging from devices to subscription services.

The Brand Footprint Mix

The Apple brand has, for most of its history, been a specialized brand, purposely positioned as “different”. This skimming strategy has been well-supported by Apple’s focus on proprietary integration over standards managed by others. Apple’s current brand footprint robust when looking at the total number of devices in use as well as the balance of products in its actively-used mix. Google’s Android/Chrome mix is similarly broad, yet is smaller. Among US technology users, Google is playing a me-too catchup game to Apple’s broadly balanced acceptance.

HP’s and Dell’s brand footprints are composed of two product types, demonstrating what might be alternatively called a disciplined focus or a lack of diverse breadth. HP’s persistent dominance in Printers is unrivaled by Dell, or competitors Epson, Canon, or Brother. Dell’s footprint in PCs is only slightly larger than HP’s.
The strength of the Windows brand footprint is based on PCs. Only recently have Windows Tablets started making their mark, and promise to continue to challenge Apple’s dominant iPad and Google’s 2nd-ranked Tablets . Windows Smartphones are on the way out, with a usage base declining in the face of Apple iOS and Android.
HP solidly dominates Printer usage. While years ago Dell challenged HP when it entered the printer business, Dell’s current brand footprint is puny in comparison. HP’s PC business, while nearly equal to Dell’s, is similarly being challenged by Apple’s broadening usage.
Apple’s entire brand footprint is benefitting from recent acceptance of two newish categories – smart watches and TV boxes. Although Google is on par with Apple in these categories, collectively these products are expanding Apple’s footprint into users they otherwise haven’t reached.

Looking ahead

It takes much more than a brand halo to convert fickle customers into loyal ones. Much effort goes into the design, manufacturing, distribution, promotion, and integration of products and services.
While Apple and Google are working hard to further their OS against Windows, smoother integration can attract and hold customers longer than an OS alone. Presently, Apple’s MacOS and iOS aren’t fully compatible, a difference which may become more important to the growing number of Apple customers actively using both iPads and Macs. Google’s Android and Chrome OS offerings face a similar conundrum, with even less OS consistency due to the many versions in active use.
Beyond OS ecosystems, technology companies are also seeking other ways of winning groups of customers. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and joining Apple in racing to be the user’s choice for a voice assisted experience. Amazon’s recent release of Alexa on iOS is Amazon’s bid to establish dominance among voice assistants, and helping to support not only Amazon’s shopping footprint, but also their many other gateway products such as the Amazon Echo or Dot.
Pragmatically speaking, what matters is having customers and that they use many of a brand’s products and services. Measuring brand footprint by penetration and intensity are suitable metrics to measure market success both in size and quality. These metrics may be better than waiting for customers to compose love poems of “the depth and breadth and height” of their ardor for the brand.

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), as well as two previous 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.
This TUPdate was based on results in the TUP Chapter – Devices, Section FOOT/Brand Footprint and Section DEV_ECO/Device Ecosystems from TUP 2014, TUP 2015, and TUP 2016. Other related results include Section VOICEASST – Voice Assistant in TUP 2016 Chapter – Wearables, Hearables, Listening and Speaking.

Related MetaFAQs

The following related MetaFAQs address questions included in this TUPdate.

MetaFAQs Question TUP Reference
mq0004 Who are the biggest spenders – Apple’s, Dell’s, HP’s, or Google’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [790 SPENDxFOOT] Tech Spending
mq0008 How much does the HP printer footprint overlap Canon, Epson, and Brother? Chapter: K Printers  Section: K2-PRH_BRANDS/Home Printer Brands  Tables: [411 PR1xPRH_BRANDS] Printer #1
mq0022 How many Apple iPhone users have older iPhones or contracts? Chapter: H Mobile Phones  Section: H2-SP1/Smartphone #1  Tables: [390 SPxSP1] Smartphones
mq0044 How does the mix of device activities vary between Apple’s, Google’s, HP’s, and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [570 ACT_COMMxFOOT] Communication Activities
mq0052 How does the mix of device activities vary between Apple’s, Google’s, HP’s, and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [610 ACT_CLOUDxFOOT] Cloud Storage/Sharing Activities
mq0135 Are the highest share of Millennials in Apple’s footprint, Google’s, or Dell’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics
mq0142 How demographically similar are Apple’s best customers to Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics
mq0151 Who have the most Connected Devices – Apple’s best customers, Google’s, HP’s, or Dell’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [490 UNITSxFOOT] Units
mq0182 Which brand footprint has the highest share of full-time-employeds? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics
mq0248 Who has the newest Smartphones – Apple’s best customers or Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [390 SPxFOOT] Smartphones
mq0258 How does the mix of devices differ between HP’s, Apple’s, Dell’s, Google’s, and LG’s footprint? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxFOOT] Key Device Metrics
mq0264 Who’s most likely to have an Apple iPhone – HP’s best customers or Dell’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [390 SPxFOOT] Smartphones
mq0272 How demographically similar are Apple’s best customers to Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [130 DHxFOOT] Household Demographics
mq0285 Are newer Smartphones used differently than older Smartphones? Chapter: H Mobile Phones  Section: H2-SP1/Smartphone #1  Tables: [390 SPxSP1] Smartphones
mq0325 Who have the most Windows devices – Apple’s best customers or Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [270 DEVxFOOT] Devices
mq0326 Which products do Apple’s best customers have fewer of? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxFOOT] Key Device Metrics
mq0334 Are Apple’s best customers more or less likely than average to be using a Workplace PC? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [280 PCxFOOT] PCs
mq0340 Do Apple’s best customers use their PCs for more or fewer hours than average PC users? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [280 PCxFOOT] PCs
mq0344 Who has the biggest purchase intentions – Apple’s or Google’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [810 PLANSxFOOT] Purchase Plans
mq0353 How does the mix of Connected Devices vary by Brand Footprint? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [490 UNITSxFOOT] Units
mq0356 Are Dell’s or HP’s customers more likely to have a Smartphone? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxFOOT] Key Device Metrics
mq0476 How far have Tablets penetrated HP’s and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [340 TABxFOOT] Tablet PCs
mq0680 How does the Smartphone OS share vary by age of PC? Chapter: X Custom  Section: X-CUSTOM/Custom  Tables: [390 SPxCUSTOM] Smartphones
mq0698 Which are used more often for a Voice Assistant, iPhones or Android Smartphones? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I3-VOICEASST/Voice Assistance  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxVOICEASST] Key Device Metrics
mq0004 Who are the biggest spenders – Apple’s, Dell’s, HP’s, or Google’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [790 SPENDxFOOT] Tech Spending
mq0008 How much does the HP printer footprint overlap Canon, Epson, and Brother? Chapter: K Printers  Section: K2-PRH_BRANDS/Home Printer Brands  Tables: [411 PR1xPRH_BRANDS] Printer #1
mq0022 How many Apple iPhone users have older iPhones or contracts? Chapter: H Mobile Phones  Section: H2-SP1/Smartphone #1  Tables: [390 SPxSP1] Smartphones
mq0044 How does the mix of device activities vary between Apple’s, Google’s, HP’s, and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [570 ACT_COMMxFOOT] Communication Activities
mq0052 How does the mix of device activities vary between Apple’s, Google’s, HP’s, and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [610 ACT_CLOUDxFOOT] Cloud Storage/Sharing Activities
mq0135 Are the highest share of Millennials in Apple’s footprint, Google’s, or Dell’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics
mq0142 How demographically similar are Apple’s best customers to Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics

 

 

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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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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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OS-Polyglots Are Big Tech Spenders (MetaFAQs)

Who are the biggest spenders – Windows-Only, Apple-Only, or some other segment? (MetaFAQs)

Google went high, Apple went higher, and Microsoft is left with the rest. That’s an oversimplification, and yet is reflected in household technology spending. Users of certain combinations of operating systems spend differently.metafacts-metafaq-mq0010-2016-11-11_11-00-43

Lowest-spending OS Combo

Adults that actively use only Microsoft Windows devices – PCs, Smartphones, or Tablets – spend less per year on technology products and services than adults who use at least one Apple or Google Android or Chrome OS device. Composed of some 36 million adults, these Windows-only one-sixth of connected adults spend $5.3k per year on their household technology products and services, from PCs and Printers, to Internet and TV service. This indexes at 67, two-thirds the average national level. Continue reading

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