Category Archives: Operating systems

Are Tablets and Computers Being Used the Same? [TUPdate]

Is an iPad a computer? Is a Microsoft Surface a tablet? What about Chromebooks – how do they fit into user’s uses? The major tech marketers are working to shift perceptions, such as Apple’s positioning of the iPad as a computer. Even though perceptions do shift buying decisions, user innovation and inertia are a force to reckon with. Many users have already pioneered ways to use their devices. We went straight to the users to see if they’re using tablets and notebooks the same, using iPads differently from Android Tablets, and Windows Notebooks from Chromebooks. Our basic hypothesis is that perceived differences, if substantial, can be confirmed by measuring user behavior.

Top Activities for New Home Tablets

iPads are more useful – based on users doing more with them. A higher share of users of recently-acquired home-owned tablets use Apple iPads for more of the major tablet activities than users of new Windows tablets or new home Android tablets. This is based on results from the MetaFacts TUP 2018 survey, conducted among 14,273 respondents across the US, UK, Germany, India, and China.

Top activities for New Home Notebooks

In this survey, we asked respondents about 73 different activities regularly used on the connected devices they actively use, including desktops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, basic cell phones, or game consoles. The activities span a wide range of activities, from communication and entertainment to shopping and productivity. Drilling down to those with new home tablets or notebooks, we found some interesting commonalities as well as striking differences.

Of the top activities used by the largest share of new home tablet users, a higher share of iPads users regularly conduct the majority. Where social network commenting and movie/video watching rank highest among iPad users, these users are somewhat surpassed by Android Tablet users in checking updates on sports and weather, and in downloading free apps/software. User of the newest Windows tablets aren’t strongest in any of the top activities, although they are nearest to the others in listening to music and checking personal email.

iPads, and tablets in general, are used for more passive or limited involvement activities than notebooks. These top tablet activities include listening to music, playing games, watching television, or commenting on social networks. Home notebooks, in contrast, are most widely-used for both personal and work email, online banking, and online shopping.

Unique activities

We also looked at what makes each operating system unique, both on tablets or notebooks, with respect to how users use their mobile devices. We measured uniqueness as the range between the highest and lowest percentage of users of each type of device.

This revealed several differences in tablet use. New home iPads are being used more often for fun and connection than users of new home Windows or Android tablets. Android tablets stand out for being used to read books, shop for free apps, and to use a voice assistant. [TUP subscribers can dive into the data deeper to see the relationship between OS and choice of voice assistant).

New home notebooks are also being used differently between operating systems. Apple’s notebooks are used differently than the average home Windows notebook or Chromebook – with remote PC connections, listening to streaming music, or downloading music.

New Google Chromebooks are used more than average for online banking, to watch videos/movies, to comment on blogs, and to recommend or share information about products and services.

Among these top unique activities, one is unique for new home Windows notebooks: creating personal graphics/presentations.

Looking ahead

Inertia is great for entrenched leaders and a serious barrier for new entrants. People change habits more slowly than they change devices. By focusing on the main activities users enjoy and value, To expand the market will be helped by making it easy and smooth for users to easily do their activities regardless of device type. In Apple’s case, popular activities such as watching videos or movies requires apps or browsers that seamlessly span iOS and MacOS devices.

While users define what they have by how they use it, there will continue to be confusion among some press and analysts seeking to distinguish devices. However, it’s unlikely that a new form factor category will emerge from the push to redefine and reposition platforms. Instead, users will continue to vote with their feet (or in this case, their fingers) and look for the device/OS combinations that will best help them do whatever they want or need to do.

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 specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. From the installed base we focused in on online adults who were using either a new home tablet or notebook PC. We chose those mobile devices which had been acquired in the most recent 1.5 years, specifically during 2017 and the first half of 2018.

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

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

 

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Filed under Entertainment, Graphics and Image, Information and Search, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Operating systems, Shopping, Social Networking, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate, Usage Patterns

In Home Mobile Devices, it’s Apple and Google outnumbering Microsoft (TUPdate)

While pundits puzzle and debate, consumers lead the way. Is an iPad a computer, have smartphones replaced other mobile devices, and are PCs dead? Consumers continue to find their own ways and use what they choose, defying definitions, headlines and experts. From among three dominant operating system ecosystems and three main types of mobile devices, home consumers have found their favorites.

In the US and China, Apple’s home mobile devices – smartphones, notebooks, and tablets – outnumber those using Windows or either Google Android or Chrome. In the UK, Apple and Google are effectively tied in outnumbering Windows on mobile devices. This is based on the latest results from the MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) 2018 study, its 36th annual wave.

There are many ways to be mobile for the many who choose to be. Nearly all online adults use some combination of a home smartphone, home notebook, or home tablet. In the UK and Germany, only 8% and 7%, respectively, don’t use any of the three. In China, nearly one in six (16%) online adults aren’t using one of these three home-owned mobile devices.

Each country has its own preferred combination. In India, having simply a smartphone is the most prevalent combination, representing 28% of adults online in India. In other countries, this share is nearer to one in five adults.

Germany stands out for having more users concentrated on two combinations than in other countries. Almost a third (30%) of online adults in Germany use a home notebook and home smartphone, and no home tablet. Another 25% also use a home notebook and home smartphone in addition to a home tablet.

Online adults in the UK are distinguished by having a larger-than-average share (22%) using a home smartphone, home tablet and no home notebook. The US (17%) is closest to the UK with this pairing, and this combination is much less popular in Germany (11%), India (10%), and China (8%).

While smartphones are being included among the devices of mobile adults, there is no single second device – notebook or tablet – paired with the smartphone.

In Germany, the smartphone-notebook combination is being used by the largest number (55%) of online adults. The use of smartphones and tablets is smaller (36%) although still higher than among online adults in China or India.

In India and China, the highest penetration pair is for smartphones and notebooks, in the hands of 41% of online adults in China and 33% of online adults in India. The use of smartphones and tablets is somewhat less, at 31% of online adults in China and 25% of online adults in India.

Online adults in the US and UK have different preferences. The most popular pair is a smartphone and tablet, actively used by 42% of online adults in the UK and 39% in the US. And in the US, as many online adults (39%) use a smartphone and notebook pair.

In the coming year, the partially-mobile are eager to become more mobile in one way or another. Purchase plans are strong for consumers to complete the set of smartphone, tablet, and notebook.

Overall, smartphones are the strongest device of interest. Smartphone purchase plans are especially strong among those online adults that are already using a home notebook and tablet. Plans are strong, although less so, among those who are only using a home tablet.

Notebook purchase plans are also strong. They are strongest among those who are only using a home tablet. They are also strong among those who aren’t using any of these mobile devices, and for this group, notebook plans are slightly higher than their plans for a smartphone or tablet.

Purchase plans for tablets are lower than those for smartphones or notebooks. The strongest plans almost paint the picture of tablets as an entry-level mobile device, as they’re strongest among online adults who aren’t already using a smartphone, tablet, or notebook. Plans are almost as strong among those only using a notebook, although plans for tablets lag behind plans for smartphones.

For those only using a home smartphone, purchase plans are lowest for either a tablet or notebook.

Looking further ahead

Mobility means many things to consumers – freedom, ease of use, and the ability to do as they’d like, whenever and wherever they’d like.

An internet connection is a vital part of mobility. Mobile device makers have been extending the mobile connection with mobile devices having built-in LTE/cellular capabilities, especially tablets. So far, consumers haven’t fully embraced extending their cellular subscriptions. When they’re less connected, they’re staying nearer to familiar Wi-Fi connections, using a portable hotspot or tethered connection, or reaching for their smartphones.

Another aspect of true mobility is usefulness, and users enjoy some activities more on notebooks or tablets than on smartphones which generally have smaller screens or that don’t have key applications. In other analysis we profile which activities users choose for their smartphones and which they choose for their notebooks or tablets.

Above all, users are continuing to choose between the many mobile offerings and haven’t settled on a single form factor or combination of mobile devices. Mobility in whatever form will continue to reach an ever-broader number of online adults.

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

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

 

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Clouds Forming (TUPdate)

Clouds Forming – A TUPdate by Dan Ness, April 13, 2017

The terms “free” and “unlimited” continue to entice consumers and employees alike, in offers of faster bandwidth to larger data storage. The promise of enormous, convenient, and always-available storage space is helping Google, Apple, and Microsoft attract and retain customers within their fold. It’s also helping Amazon and the many other dedicated Cloud Storage/Sharing services, even while many offerings may be risking consumer and corporate security and privacy.

Cloud Storage and Sharing services have tapped into core needs, reaching a high share of American adult consumers and employees. We Americans like our stuff, and we love convenience. As surely as we pile clutter into garages and self-storage facilities, we accumulate countless zettabytes of images, music, movies, pre-binged TV episodes, documents, among other files. We also want to know our stuff is safe and can be easily retrieved whenever and wherever we want it. Continue reading

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Filed under Cloud Storage, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2016, TUPdate, Usage Patterns

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. Continue reading

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Filed under Desktops, Devices, Market Research, Market Sizing, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2016, TUPdate

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