Category Archives: Printers

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

Leave a comment

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

Life Stages and Technology Adoption – TUPdate

Life Stage and Technology Adoption – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, December 16, 2016

The stages of life – although many take different paths – are a useful component of understanding technology users. Pivotal life events shape us – forming a family or empty-nesting, passing key birthdays, or joining or leaving from the workforce.
Kids matter – in many ways, and very much so when it comes to understanding technology spending, usage, adoption, and the future of tech. Simply knowing whether children are present or not provides a lot of explanatory power for a technology user’s profile.metafacts-tup-life-stage-factors-2016-12-16_11-17-07

Presence of children is one of three factors that make up life stage analysis, with the other two being age and employment status.
Within the TUP study, MetaFacts determines life stage by creating eight mutually-exclusive groups, each formed by two values of three components. We grouped respondent’s ages into 18-39 (“younger”) and 40 and above (“older”), and presence of children into present or not present. Being employed in the workforce includes any working full-time, part-time, or self-employed. Those not employed outside the home include students, the retired, homemakers, seasonally unemployed and temporarily unemployed.
Life stage analysis is a useful and productive way to quickly sift through mountains of sociodemographics. These three factors, although not exhaustive, provide strong definitional power with respect to predicting and profiling technology acquisition and usage.

Tech Spending by Life Stage

The biggest tech spenders are those adults within the life stage group: younger, employed, and with children. Adults age 18-38 who have kids and are actively employed full-time, part-time, or self-employed spend 66% more on tech devices and services in a year than the average adult. The second-biggest life stage group in tech spending also have kids and are employed, although are age 40 and up. This group’s tech spend is 16% higher than the national average.metafacts-td161215-life-stage-tech-spend-index-2016-12-15_11-48-59
At the other end of the spectrum, with the lowest tech spending levels, are adults age 40+, not employed, and without kids. Their index of 67 reflects their tech spending levels 33% below the national average for connected adults. All of the life stage groups without children spend below the national average for tech devices and services. Also, adults who are not employed outside the home spend less than the average connected adult on tech.

Consumer Electronics and Life Stage

Life stage analysis reveals both laggards and early adopters of many leading technology products. The connected home appears to be doing well – although only among one life stage segment. Employed adults age 18-39 with children stand heads and shoulders above all other segments in market penetration. From smart locks to video doorbells, this group’s usage is significantly stronger than other life stage groups. This group is also clearly strongest in the use of certain other consumer electronics products – golf swing analyzers, GoPro-type headcams, and to further feather the nest, home projectors. Relative penetration of this last item is not quite as different, reflecting in part the higher price of home projectors compared to these other devices, and that they have been available for more years than the other devices.metafacts-td161215-life-stage-consumer-electronics-2016-12-15_14-30-47

One consumer electronic product has reached entirely different life stage segments – the venerable record player. Although turntables and vinyl albums have enjoyed some resurgence following their near-extinction, current usage is primarily among adults age 40 and up, and less so among younger adults. In addition to nostalgic ties and musical memories, these listeners also are more likely to have old LPs.

Life Stage Penetration of Key Tech Devices

Life stage analysis also reveals differences in the use of many key computing and printing devices. The notebook penetration rate among adults employed 18-39 with kids is double that of adults not employed 40+ without kids. There’s an even stronger difference for use of a second PC, with Employed 18-39 with kids having triple the penetration rate of not employed 40+ without kids. And, with nearly a quintuple rate difference, use of game consoles among not employed adults age 18-39 with kids is two-thirds (66%), 4.8 times higher than the 14% rate among not employed 40+ without children.metafacts-td161215-life-stage-key-devices-2016-12-15_14-30-47

Number of Devices by OS

Windows dominates computing devices, as it has for decades. Among all life stage groups, the average number of devices is highest for Windows devices. Apple and Google Android/Chrome devices are gaining in the average number in active use. Among adults 18-39 not employed, there is no difference between Windows and Apple in the number of each OS in active use.
Apple ranks second among all life stage segments except one – 40+, Not employed with Kids. Although the difference is small, this reflects the lower penetration Apple devices have among older adults.metafacts-td161215-key-devices-by-os-2016-12-16_08-03-24

Looking Ahead

Life stage analysis reveals important market segments, especially to separate laggards from early adopters of the newest technology. This approach also helps in predicting future adoption. As technology users navigate their own life courses and transitions. Although it isn’t true that parents leave a maternity ward with additional tech devices, it’s typically not too long that tech accumulation begins.

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.

Supporting MetaFAQs

  • mq0137 – What is the penetration of home-owned computing devices? – [250 DEV_KEYxLIFE]
  • mq0257 – Which Life Stage segment spends the most on tech devices and services? – [790 SPENDxLIFE]
  • mq0215 – Which Life Stage segment use VR Headsets the most? – [480 CExLIFE]
  • mq0275 – Which Life Stage segments have the highest share of Windows, Apple, and Google OS devices? – [270 DEVxLIFE]
  • mq0594 – Which Life Stage group has the highest usage of Notebook PCs? – [250 DEV_KEYxLIFE]
  • mq0610 – Which Life Stage group has the highest usage of e-Book Readers? – [250 DEV_KEYxLIFE]

Related MetaFAQs

  • mq0091 – What is the percent of Home PC users that use printers? – [250 DEV_KEYxLIFE]
  • mq0237 – What is the average number of Home Tablets being used? – [490 UNITSxLIFE]
  • mq0236 – What is the average number of Home PCs being used? – [490 UNITSxLIFE]
  • mq0150 – Are many users using remote printing services? Are these using their Internet-ready printers or online printing services? Which segments are using remote printing as a substitute for home printing, and which as an additional way to print? – [590 ACT_IMGxLIFE]
  • mq0540 – How are TV and movie device usage levels different across Life Stage segments? – [480 CExLIFE]
  • mq0213 – How does the penetration of OS Ecosystems vary by device type? – [250 DEV_KEYxDEV_ECO]

Comments Off on Life Stages and Technology Adoption – TUPdate

Filed under Consumer research, Demographics & Econographics, e-Book Readers, Entertainment, Notebooks, Printers, TUP 2016, TUPdate, Usage Patterns

Subscription Ink – Only for Busy Youngsters?

Is there an age skew for subscribing to an ink replacement plan?

Consider the person racing to print that important report or family photo, only to discover their printer is out of ink. While office supply and discount retailers still lead as major sources for printer ink purchases, the most-recent market disruption offers a preemptive choice – ink by subscription.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0030-ink-subscription-2016-11-30_11-44-36

Busy and convenience-oriented youngish adults have lead the adoption of subscription ink. Adults age 25-39 have the highest rates of subscription ink usage.

While the national average rate is 22% of adults with printers that subscribe to an ink replacement plan, among adults age 30-34 the rate is double that – at 45%. This is narrowly followed by Adults age 35-39 with 43%.

In addition to their quest for ease and convenience, these age groups are also highest in the presence of children full-time employment and household income, a very active life stage. These sociological factors help drive the demand for family photos, recipes, and greeting cards.

Looking ahead, we expect the attitudes of this often-engrossed group to continue, furthering adoption of subscription ink within this age segment.

Resources

This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users, and is based on the following TUP table set: 460 SUxAGE in the Age Category Section of the TUP User Profile Chapter.

Many other related answers are part of the TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapter with the most information about printers and printing activities is the TUP 2016 Printer Chapter, and about age-skewed tech usage in the TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter.

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Comments Off on Subscription Ink – Only for Busy Youngsters?

Filed under Graphics and Image, Printers, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders (TUPdate)

Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders – Dan Ness, November 18, 2016

Home printer makers do their best to make innovate products, manage their distribution, and support their customers – all while competing. Buyers, meanwhile, make their choices. Interestingly, all home buyers aren’t created equally, and some brands have carved out a customer base which may or may not be favorable for them.

Home printer buyers can be tough on some brands. Some users choose refills instead of new ink, while others spend much more on supplies and technology than the users of other brands. Meanwhile, others have a longer printer replacement cycle.

Older and newer printersMetaFacts-td1611-home-printer-age

HP can justifiably claim that home printer owners get longer use. Users of HP Home Printers use older printers than do users of other major home printer brands. The average printer age is 2.4 to 2.6 years for printers being used in the prior 90 days by Brother, Canon, or Epson home printer users. In contrast, among HP home printer users, the average printer age is 3 years.

Active with images and graphics

Users with some brands have attracted more or less graphics-oriented users. There is a different profile based on their breadth of graphics and image-oriented activities across their connected devices, such as PCs, Tablets, and Smartphones.Metafacts-td1611-home-printer-activity-breadth

Users of Brother Home Printers have the widest range of graphics/image activities. Breadth of use is higher than those with other home printer brands. Nearly half (46%) of Brother home printer users are in the top-third.

Uniquely-strong activities with connected devices among Brother home printer users are creating personal graphics/presentations (38% of Brother users vs. 28% nationally) and work graphics/presentations (37% versus 28% nationally).

Use of refills

Whose Home Printer customers are most likely to use refilled ink/toner?metafacts-td1611-home-printer-refills

Among major home printer brands, Epson’s users have the highest rate of using refilled ink cartridges. Over one-third (35%) do so, a 53% higher rate than the national average of 23%. Just over a quarter (26%) of Canon’s home printer brands do.

Tech spending

Brother’s home printer users spend the most on their home technology devices and services. Over one-third (34%) of these users are in the top quartile of consumer technology spenders. Brother home printer users spend substantially more than users of other major home printer brands. At $10.2k per year, this is 30% higher than the national average of $7.9k.metafacts-td1611-home-printer-spending

Brother’s home printer users also outspend on levels on ink, toner, and paper. Compared to the national average, their annual spend of $980 is 53% higher than the national average of $640.

Experience levels

Epson’s home printer users have the least tech experience. Twenty percent first started using a desktop PC within the last 8 years, versus the 12% national average. Similarly, 37% first started using a basic cell phone within the last 8 years, a rate 54% higher than the national share of 24%.metafacts-td1611-home-printer-adoption

HP is at the other end of the spectrum, having attracted a more-experienced tech users. Although this measure of tech adoption – years  since first using a given device – also reflects older users, when correcting for age, this same pattern holds true. Epson has a higher share of tech laggards than other home printer brands. Comparing similarly-aged users, more of Epson’s users were laggards – in the last 16% to adopt desktops, notebooks, smartphones, basic cell phones, and tablets.

Among customers with less tech experience, support costs can be higher, and products, marketing messages, and instructions need to be simpler and clearer. Being strong in any particular market segment may have benefits, however if they’re more expensive to support and sell too, over the long run other segments may be more worthwhile to pursue.

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 Printers Chapter details printer brands, types, printing activities, 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.

Comments Off on Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders (TUPdate)

Filed under Consumer research, Graphics and Image, Market Research, Printers

Are most home printers purchased where ink is? (MetaFAQs)

Our research shows that most home printers are purchased in one type of outlet, and ink bought somewhere else.

For home printers, Discount retail store such as Wal-Mart or Target and Consumer electronics stores such as Best Buy collectively account for nearly half of the outlets where home printers are purchased. By contrast, consumer electronics stores account for only one in nine home printer ink purchase outlets. Instead, half of printer ink outlets are Office supply retailers such as Office Depot and discount retail stores.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0009-2016-11-02_10-57-55

It’s a conflict that has been a conundrum for printer manufacturers for many years. Subscription services such as Hewlett Packard’s Instant Ink have started to change the formula. These programs bypass brick-and-mortar and online retailers alike to entice many printer users to simply buy direct. They also have the benefit to printer manufacturers of reducing consumer’s consideration of options for buying and using refilled ink.

This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapters with the most information about activities is the TUP 2016 Printers Chapter.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Comments Off on Are most home printers purchased where ink is? (MetaFAQs)

Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Printers, TUP 2016