Tag Archives: Digital Home

Apple & the future digital home?

The Apple digital home will continue to look different than non-Apple households. Apple households plan to buy a different set of consumer electronics products and services than non-Apple households. Some of the planned products are downright retro, so may come as a surprise to those who believe Apple households only use the most advanced, leading-edge technology.

Apple iPods
Despite Apple’s efforts to engage and possibly convert Windows users through music – particularly with iPods – that direction is losing some steam. A higher percentage of Apple households plan to buy an Apple iPod than households without Apples. One in eight (13%) of Apple households plan to buy an iPod within the coming 12 months, stronger than the one in fifteen (7%) of non-Apple households similarly planning. This is not fantastic news for Apple, although these plans are notable, as iPods are included in the top 25 consumer electronics products or services non-Apple households plan to buy.

Apple’s strategy to draw new customers into its retail stores is working, and iPod is a big part of that.

  • Households without Apple Home PCs that shop or buy at Apple’s retail stores are different from Apple Home PC households.
  • 60% of non-Apple households that shop at Apple’s retail stores have an Apple iPod and 15% plan to buy one in the next 12 months. Apple iPods are a big draw for these retail shoppers. Among non-Apple households overall, whether they shop at Apple retail stores or not, only 7% have iPod purchase plans.
  • 35% use a portable MP3 made by one of Apple’s competitors.
Apple Households Want Different Consumer Electronics Products and Services Than Non-Apple Households - Apple Profile Report 2008

Apple Households Want Different Consumer Electronics Products and Services Than Non-Apple Households – Apple Profile Report 2008

Analog TVs?!
Knowing how generally advanced and electronics-savvy Apple households are, it may come as a surprise that the second-ranked product or service they plan to buy is a converter box for analog TVs. Looking more deeply, though, this product has been a surprise for governmental planners. After all, most PC households already have a subscription TV service. However, these households also have many, sometimes older, TVs and are plugged into the broadcast media enough to have heard the announcements.

Film and box cameras?
Digital imaging plays a large part of the Apple household’s life. So, there may be some surprise that they are using disposable single-use cameras and getting any digital images from film processors, and more often than non-Apple households. More than one-third (36%) of Home PC households have a film camera they still use, typically in addition to a digital camera. Also, disposable single-use cameras meet the need for impulse images when one’s digital camera or cell phone camera is either inoperative or of too-low resolution.

Movies and videos and DVDs
The Internet is a big part of entertainment in both Apple and non-Apple households, with 76% and 75% agreeing with that statement, respectively. Videos on DVDs are a big part of that, and are behind usage and future plans. Currently, 50% of Apple households rent DVDs through outlets such as Netflix or Blockbuster; another 8% plan to do so in the coming 12 months. This is higher than among non-Apple households, where 45% of households rent today and 6% plan to do so within the coming year.

More from mobile
Apple notebook computers make up 64% of the installed base, compared to 45% of Windows PCs. Apple notebook users bring their Home notebooks out to more public locations than Windows mobile PC users, at 21% of Apple PCs compared with 12% of Windows PCs. So, it may be no surprise and no reflection on Apple’s battery technology that plans to purchase notebook batteries are stronger among Apple households than Windows households. At 9% of Apple households, the gap over Windows households is only slight, with 7% of Windows households having these purchase plans.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008

TUPdate: Mouse Potato or Couch Potato? Interactive Fun Draws TV Viewers Ever Towards PCs

At the same time Americans are buying ever-bigger TVs, they are turning their attention to smaller screens – those on their PCs. In the 2008 Annual Edition of Technology User Profile, we found that 57% of Home PC Households agree with this statement: “I spend more time using my computer than watching TV.” Only one year ago, this percentage was less than half – 45%. What is the significance of this increasingly defined divide?

The draw to the PC away from TV stems from – where else? – Entertainment. Nearly four times as many PC-focused Americans as TV-focused ones say “I keep finding more ways to use the internet for fun,” with 76% of PCers and 20% of TVers in agreement. Also, 89% of PCers surveyed agree: “The Internet is a big part of my home entertainment,” compared with 36% of TVers.

Also, hands-on interactivity is a major draw, as the PC-focused go beyond simply pushing a few buttons on their remote controls. PC-focused Americans engage in uniquely proactive, leading-edge, and niche activities more often than TV-focused Americans do. Substantially more PCers participate in interactive chatting (47% PCers, 19% TVers), social networking (35% PCers, 12% TVers), and web publishing (15% PCers, 3% TVers) than do their TV-focused counterparts.

Furthermore, PCers use their PCs and the Internet for a wider range of activities, averaging 18 different activities compared with 11 on average among TVers. This reflects a self-reinforcing effect, as people discover more things they can do with their personal computers, the more they weave them into their daily lives, and then they are able to discover yet more activities of interest.

Although there are myths that the web is primarily frequented by young millennials, there are no strong demographic differences between those who identify as PC-focused and those who consider themselves TV-focused. These interactivity-seeking PC users are young and old, male and female, and high-income as well as low-income.

Looking ahead, we don’t agree with straight-lining pundits who forecast mass migration of eyeballs to the ever-tinier screens of mobile phones and PDAs. Instead, as we’ve watched technology adoption these last 2 decades, we stick with a whole-person view. There are brains and fingers attached to those eyeballs.

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Filed under Consumer research, Households, Market Research, Statistics, Technology, TUP 2007, TUP 2008, TUPdate

TUPdates: Average American Means PC Ownership , Internet Connection…Almost

Almost three-fifths of American households own a PC, and nearly all of those households have some kind of Internet connectivity. However, the rate of broadband Internet use is much lower-about 27 percent of American homes have such a connection, or 46 percent of PC owners. The flip side is that there are still tens of millions of Americans who have never owned a PC. Furthermore, some groups of Americans have less than half the adoption rate of other Americans.

Why is this important?

Anyone that believes that all Americans are home computer users with fast, broadband Internet connections are just barely a quarter right. More importantly, there is a persistent gap between the connected and disconnected, with some market segments having five times the adoption rate of others.

These are some of the insights culled from the latest research undertaken by MetaFacts, Inc., based on responses to questionnaires submitted by 32,130 U.S. households. The responses showed that about 58 percent of U.S. homes own a PC, representing 64.3 million households. The most likely to own a computer are the affluent empty nesters and older SINKs (single income no kids), whose rate is 25 percent higher than average. The least likely are the single heads of households who are 75 or older; whose rate is 40 percent less than average. But, interestingly, almost all other groups are within 15 percent of the norm for the general population.

The rate of Internet connectivity (of any kind) is 57 percent, or only one point lower than the rate of PC ownership. Apparently, if they are going to have a PC, they are going to connect it. In all groups the rate of Internet connectivity is within a few points of the rate of PC ownership.

However, the same cannot be said of broadband Internet connections. Only 27 percent of households have one (although this still amounts to almost 30 million subscribers) and the adoption rate varies considerably among various groups. Unsurprisingly, affluent, traditional families are the most likely to have a broadband Internet connection. In fact, they are 53 percent more likely than the average American household to have it. They are closely followed by affluent, young singles; affluent empty nesters and older SINKs; DINKs (double income no kids); working parents; and younger, mid-income empty nesters.

The least likely to have a broadband connection are single heads of households who are 75 or older. Their rate of connection is about a third of the average. Married heads of households who are 75 and older follow next, but are nearly half the average, as are single active seniors, plus middle-income older singles. The next tier are the married active seniors, who are connected at about three-fourths the average rate. Most of the other classifications clustered around the average.

Meanwhile, there are still pockets of resistance to the computer revolution, especially among the aged. Single heads of household who are more than 75 years old are twice as likely as average to report no PC usage. That might seem like a niche, but it’s still 2.7 million households. The next group that is least likely to use a PC are the married heads of households who are at least 75-but they are only about a third more likely than average to be non-users. Older, mid- to low-income singles and single active seniors are in that same tier as well. (The least likely to not use a PC are affluent singles, regardless of age.) The scattered resistance is enough to add up to 35 million households without a PC-a significant market, but since they are committed non-users the question is whether they are a viable market.

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