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.


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.

Age of Home Notebooks in the Installed Base [TUPdate]

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.

Continue reading “Are Tablets and Computers Being Used the Same? [TUPdate]”

Retro to the future? Turntable players as predictors [TUPdate]

Vinyl turntables?! Windows XP?! Basic cell phones?!

Is it true that users of older technology are uninterested in new technology? We tested that hypothesis using several indicators, and found that this stereotype is partly true, and partly not true. We’ve found an interesting group that spans the old and the new, and who are distinct from those who match the laggard stereotype.

Users of older technology are a substantial part of the marketplace. While some slog along with what they have, others eagerly anticipate and even create the future. More pedestrian ones hold on to what they have because they aren’t seeing the value in new technology products and services, or don’t have the means or motivation to do so.

Based on our most research results, from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile (TUP) 2018 wave, 18% of online adults globally use a basic feature phone and 4% use a turntable to play vinyl records. This is based on our balanced survey of 14,273 adults actively online using any PC, mobile phone, tablet, or game console.

Many types of older products are also in everyday use. One in eight (12%) of the primary PC being used by adults was acquired in 2013, two years before Windows 10 was released to the public. One in twelve online adults (8%) are using a printer as old, and one in sixteen (6%) are using a tablet also from 2013 or earlier.

Old-school isn’t necessarily old, as vinyl record turntables have toyed with a resurgence over the last decade. They’ve recently withered into usage by only one in twenty-five (4%) online adults.

However, this small and stalwart group has substantially broader and more ambitious technology purchase plans than most online adults, and certainly more than those who simply hang on to old PCs, tablets, or printers.

Turntable users are 3.5 times as likely, or more, to be planning to purchase a 3D printer, home projector, or portable Wi-Fi hotspot. They also stand out for their strong interest in Google Android/Chrome devices – whether a Chromebook, Chrome desktop, or for a Wi-Fi Android tablet. They also have the highest intentions to purchase an Apple iPod Touch, the almost-iPhone quietly targeted as a music or social communication device.

These same technology products have lured the interest of another group – basic feature phone users – although to a lesser extent. These simple cellphone users have above-average intentions for each of these same products.

Does these mean that the future for 3D printers and Chromebooks are only among these small segments? No, it’s that innovation and openness attracts other segments besides the newest-technology crowd.

In fact, the desires and intentions of these music-loving, vinyl-spinning innovation and novelty seekers run circles around the average online adult.

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.


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