Category Archives: Market Research

American Screen Time Remains Thirteen Trillion Hours [TUPdate]

American adults are using their connected devices as much as ever, in 2018 totaling 13 trillion hours per week with their Smartphones, PCs, Tablets, and Game Consoles. This is slightly lower than the 13.3 trillion-hour level in 2017.

This is based on the 36th wave of Technology User Profile – TUP 2018. This analysis is based on 7,886 U.S. survey respondents, 7,521 respondents in TUP 2017, and 7,336 in TUP 2016.

Total Screen Time Stabilizes

There has been growing media awareness and reporting about adverse social and health effects from the over-use of technology devices. These concerns have sparked the develop of apps and settings to help monitor and manage screen time. Meanwhile, Americans, and indeed also adults around the world, continue to find useful and entertaining ways to integrate actively connected devices into their lives.

Average Screen Time per Device Stabilizes

The growth in total hours has been partially due to the steadily growing population of online adults between 2016 and 2018. However, during this same time period, the average number of connected devices being actively used has gone down slightly, dropping from 4.3 in 2016 to 4.2 in 2017, and then 3.9 in 2018. The net effect is that the average number of hours per device has actually increased between 2016 and 2018, rising from 13.4 hours per week per device to 15.4.

Total Screen Time Shrinks Among Multi-Device Users

Many of the total screen hours are due to the busyness of the busiest users. In 2016, over a third (34%) of total device hours were due to the activity levels of users using 7 or more connected devices. In 2017, this many-device group dropped to be accounting for 31% of total hours, and by 2018 account for 26% of total hours.

Meanwhile, users with 2 to 4 devices grew from representing 39% of total hours in 2016 to 41% in 2017, and 47% in 2018. This type of bimodal distribution emphasizes the importance of separating fewer-device from multi-device users for a deeper and more relevant understanding.

Screen Time Growth Spans Mono and Multi-Device Users

Drilling down in the TUP data a little further, we can see that the average number of device hours has changed across users with many devices and also among those with few. For users with any given number of devices, the average number of hours increased. While it may seem that this would result in a higher number of total device hours, as mentioned earlier the average number of actively-used connected devices shrank, bringing the total average down.

Looking ahead

Do these trends point to more or fewer devices, or to more or fewer hours using them? I expect a continued wobble in the number of devices being used.

“BOB” is one of the strongest forces bringing about a rising average number of devices. The key benefit from a Best-Of-Breed is having a narrow-function device which does something well. High-end cameras are very popular with expert photographers who value their specialized capabilities. The first cell phones were simple enough for phone calls and did very little else.

Forces in the direction of users using fewer devices include the absorption that comes from functional substitution. Smartphones were able to incorporate photography – absorbing the functionality of most standalone cameras, especially for ordinary photographers. Similarly, smartphones offered music-playing – thereby replacing most iPods and MP3 players. To the extent smartphone screens can become large enough to rival larger-screened tablets and PCs, they can begin to act as substitutes for image-intensive activities such as shopping. Similarly, to the extent voice assistants truly take hold beyond the niche or novelty stage, devices which support these may begin to reduce user’s demand for as many connected devices.

As to screen time measurement and monitoring taking hold among the mass market, I expect that to go about as well as most New Year’s Resolutions, full of honest intention but ultimately most of us will be distracted back into our habits.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China, and this TUPdate focused on the U.S. From the installed base we focused in on online adults and how many hours they use a Smartphone, PC, or Tablet.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Devices, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate

How and Where PCs and Tablets Are Used Differently Than Smartphones [TUPdate]

People love their Smartphones and find more to do with them than PCs or Tablets. Around the world, there are few activities done with PCs as regularly as are done with Smartphones. Furthermore, there are no activities done more so on Tablets than on either Smartphones or PCs. Usage profiles vary somewhat by country. Online adults in the U.S. use their connected devices differently than users in many other countries.

These findings are based on the TUP/Technology User Profile 2018 study of 14,273 online adults in the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. Of the more-than 70 activities in the TUP survey tied to each device, we identified those with the widest range of regular use across devices – defined as the difference between the maximum and minimum usage level between Smartphone, PC, and Tablet users.

MetaFacts TUPdate 1901 18GL Activities Preferred By Each Form 190111_0843

The versatility of smartphones is shown by how much more often they’re the device of choice for nearly every type of activity, from shopping to social networking and fun. The range of activity use is as high as 65% – in the case of making and receiving personal phone calls.

Smartphones are being used the most widely for device-unique activities. The four major activities for smartphones – personal phone calls, taking pictures, text messaging, and storing one’s contacts – are infrequently done on a PC or Tablet. Although the newest tablets have cameras that approach the quality of those on Smartphones, less than a quarter (22%) are being used to take pictures. Also, despite being able to run apps such as WhatsApp or WeChat on Tablets or PCs, phone calls are primarily on Smartphones, even while personal video calls have made inroads on non-phone devices.

PCs are mostly being used for email (personal or work), online shopping (bigger screens entice buyers), and online banking. Tablets are mostly being used for social networking and music listening.

There is a small amount of crossover of activity usage across devices. Two of the major activities for Smartphones are also leading ones on Tablets – adding photos to social media and commenting on other’s images or comments.

American adults use their devices somewhat differently than users in other countries. In addition to personal and work email, PCs are used more often than Smartphones or Tablets for shopping, banking, finances/accounting, and writing.

Tablets are being used more like PCs than Smartphones. The major activities for Tablets, although with smaller percentages than PCs, are also among the major activities for PCs. Also, in the US, UK, and Germany, Tablets are used more often than either PCs or Smartphones for reading a book and making small purchases in person, such as in a coffee shop.

Where PCs Dominate
Smartphones aren’t the only connected device users actively use. There are many activities used at a higher rate on PCs than on Smartphones are tablets. Sending and checking both personal and work email are high on the list across all of the countries surveyed except for India. Also, writing and managing text documents is a PC-preferred activity except in India. In Germany, writing documents is an especially PC-dominant activity. Also, activities relating to using a printer are strongest when using a PC.

Looking ahead

Habits change slowly. Not only do people find effective ways to use connected devices to do what they want, they also show inertia when slowly moving those activities to a different device. Even those users who have multiple devices continue to use the types of devices they had previously for some time before fully embracing a type of device new to them.

Furthermore, there isn’t a single “silver bullet” device that’s preferred for all activities. For some activities, such as reading a book, shopping, or watching television, having a larger display helps. For other activities, such as receiving phone calls or texting, convenience and mobility are key.

We don’t expect the majority of users to concentrate all of their activities on a single device in the near future. Instead, the multi-device experience will continue. PCs may continue to lose their dominance for the many activities they still dominate. Dedicated PC users may just move more of their attention to tablets, especially those focused on passive activities such as social networking or television watching.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. From the installed base we focused in on online adults and how they use a Smartphone, PC, or Tablet.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Cloud Storage, Communication, Consumer research, Desktops, Devices, Entertainment, Graphics and Image, Information and Search, Market Research, Notebooks, Personal and Productivity, Shopping, Smartphones, Social Networking, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate, Usage Patterns, Video calling, Voice Assistant

How New Are Home Notebooks? [TUPdate]

Home consumers are moving to newer Notebook PCs, although in some countries, older ones get used longer.

Getting optimum value from one’s technology investment is a laudable goal, although at odds with having the latest and greatest.

The ever-practical Germans lead the way in keeping their notebooks longer than consumers in other countries. In the current installed base, the average German is using a Notebook PC that is 3.3 years old. Almost half (48%) of their notebooks were acquired in 2015 or earlier. By comparison, among adults in India, fewer than a quarter (22%) of home notebooks are that old.

This is based on results from the 2018 and 2017 waves of Technology User Profile (TUP).

Among online adults in India, the average Notebook PC age is 2.1 years, much newer than the average Notebook PC age of 2.4 years among online adults in China.

Historically, consumers around the world are replacing their Notebook PCs faster than ever. Among adults in the US, the mean age in 2015 was 3 years, and that has freshened up to 2.6 years in 2018.

Operating Systems

Some notebooks are used longer than others, especially between Windows and Apple. India has the newest home notebooks in active use, averaging 2.2 years young. There’s a similar profile in China, where the average is 2.3 years. Adults in Germany, however, are using the oldest home notebooks, averaging 3.3 years, a year older than those in India or China.

In all countries surveyed, Windows notebooks are the oldest, averaging 2.5 years, and newest in India and China and oldest in Germany. Although Google Chromebooks are the most recent market entrant, in India Apple home notebooks are newer. These products bear watching, even though market adoption is currently small, making up 1% of the current active installed based globally.

Looking ahead

Mobility has been a driving factor for many consumers, driven in large part by the value of convenience. Consequently, this demand has spurred technology companies to experiment with form factors from Smartphones to Tablets and convertibles. At the same time, PCs have been supported by demand for the simplicity of having all of one’s apps and data in one familiar place, while also having a screen that’s large enough to see easily.

We expect these core demands – convenience, consistency, visibility – to continue driving consumer’s choices. What will change is the shape and name of the package that best supports these factors – whether named notebook/laptop, convertible, 2-in-1, or even tablet.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. From the installed base we focused in on online adults who were using a home notebook PC.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Notebooks, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Age of Home Notebooks in the Installed Base

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Notebooks, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Facebook Users Hop, Skip, or Jump? [TUPdate]

The share of online Americans using any of Facebook’s sites has dropped in the last year. The % of online adults using Facebook, Instagram,or WhatsApp, as well as any of these three, is lower than one year prior. This is based on the 2018 wave of Technology User Profile (TUP), a survey of technology users now in its 36th year.

Three in four online adults (76%) report having used Facebook in the prior 30 days, down from 84% in the prior year.

When Facebook acquired Instagram, it looked like a solid move to give site-hopping users an alternate venue to connect and share, whilestill staying within the Facebook family. However, as the advertisements rampedup and other sites attracted interest, users became less active or left.Between 2015 and 2017, Instagram’s expansion appeared to be on track to reachat least half of online adults before 2020. However, use has shrunk from a peak42% level in 2017 to the present 38%.

We looked at the overlap of users of any of the three sites – Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp – and that share has also decreased, although not as strongly. In 2017, the share of adult Americans using any of the three was 87%, and now in 2018 that share has dropped to 82%.

Looking ahead

Fickle consumers continue to express how they choose to spend their time online and offline. Although Facebook has taken many steps to weave their way into everyday experiences, users continue to explore alternatives. I’m reminded of the rises and falls we’ve seen in sites from Google+, MySpace, AOL to CompuServe and Prodigy, as network effects or following the herd entices large groups of users to move on from the market leaders.While I’m not calling this dip the beginning of another end, it is a cautionary note that Facebook has additional work ahead of them. Also, user defection isn’t the only issue facing Facebook. Advertisers and organizations reliant on Facebook can speed up any downdraft as they review any shifts in their own key numbers and consider other options.

Related results

TUP clients can drill down further into these results to explore related results such as: which types of devices users use to access social networks, demographic profiles of users by social network, and details for the UK, Germany, China, and India.

Methodology

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This recent wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. For this TUPdate we focused on users in the US.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2018 survey, its 36th consecutive wave. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Social Networking, TUP 2018, TUPdate