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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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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

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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Filed under Convertibles, Desktops, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, TUP 2016

The Most Creative – PCs or Smartphones? (TUPdate)

The Most Creative – PCs or Smartphones? – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, February 9, 2017

Creativity eludes definition, yet we know and admire it when we see or feel it. Well beyond simple clicks, creative activities greatly add to the collective oeuvre while also giving voice to expression.

It might well be argued that creativity is shown in the clever use of hashtags, emojis, or Snapchat video filters. I’m choosing to identify creativity broadly and practically – how the most-creative, most-involved tech activities get done. Activities such as creating presentations and videos require forethought and a blending of skills. Some activities such as taking photographs are now so widely commonplace that the activity spans the professional photographer to the budding amateur. So, for this analysis, I’m considering this a moderately-creative activity.metafacts-td1702-creatives-diagram-2017-02-09_13-27-42

From our most recent TUP (Technology User Profile) survey, I chose six core activities as being more creative than the many other everyday activities we track by device and user.

I drilled down into the TUP data to see what differences there may be by device type – PCs versus Smartphones. When it comes to creative activities, there are differences.

Which devices have the most users doing creative activities?

Creative activities are strongest where the tools are richest. Ask any oil painter if they benefit by having ready canvases, easels, paints, and lighting. Continue reading

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Filed under Desktops, Graphics and Image, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Is there an age skew for using VR Headsets? (MetaFAQs)

Is there an age skew for using VR Headsets?

metafacts-metafaqs-mq0047-480-cexage-2017-02-02_11-00-09Virtual reality hasn’t reached market reality, despite decades of experimentation and overhyped false starts. Recent investment has brought renewed attention, hope, and development to the prospects of widespread VR use. Based on our TUP 2016 US survey, only 2% of connected adults are actively using a VR headset, such as the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR. This modest acceptance rate is only part of the research finding, though, as there is more that can be learned from the early adopters.

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Filed under Entertainment, Graphics and Image, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Smartphones, TUP 2016