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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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Apple & Samsung Lead in Multi-Device Loyalty [TUPdate]

Apple and Samsung have the highest share of their users actively using two or more of their devices.

This is based on the MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) 2018 survey results. Among online adults in the US, more of Apple’s and Samsung’s users have two or more of the brand’s devices than only use one of their devices.

Although brand footprint is an important measure in its simplest form – market penetration by the percent using at least one of a given product – the multi-device measure goes deeper. It shows the extra commitment customers are willing to make towards using any particular brand or ecosystem. In a pragmatic way, it reflects the value they place on a brand.

Based on the simple brand footprint measure, Windows devices have the deepest market penetration.  Effectively three in four (74%) online Americans are using one.

In a near three-way tie for second place, HP, Apple, and Google OS products are being used by nearly half of all US online adults. While HP has a slightly deeper footprint than the other two, with 52% of online Americans using an HP PC or printer, Apple and Google (Chrome/Android) are each in the hands of 49% of online American adults.

There’s also an overlap of Apple’s and Google’s best customers, with Apple having the stronger position. One in eight (12%) of adults with two or more Google OS products also have two or more Apple devices. One in twelve (8%) of adults with two or more Apple products also have two or more Google OS devices.

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

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, Multiple Devices, Operating systems, TUP 2018

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.

 

Leave a Comment

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