Tag Archives: Hours

How central and vital are home PCs? [TUPdate]

Home PCs users are very active, yet they don’t only stay at home on their computers. They use a wide variety of other connected devices. The majority of home PC users (82% to 95%) also use a mobile phone. Of these, smartphones dominate. It may some surprise those steeped in technology that basic cell phones/feature phones persist in the hands of many – from 9% to 28% of home PC users.

These findings are based on results from our TUP/Technology User Profile 2018 survey, including 11,294 online adult home PC users.

Active home users

Home PC users spend more time with their home PCs than with other devices. In China, smartphone use us nearly at parity. Among home PC users in China, weekly hours using a PC are 33.2, only slightly more than the 32.5-hour average for smartphone use. By contrast, in the UK and Germany, home PC users spend nearly the same amount of time with their home PCs as do users in the other countries surveyed. However, in these countries, users spend far fewer hours with their smartphones. Across all countries surveyed, Tablets are a distant third place, being used for a third to a quarter as many hours as home PCs.

Looking ahead

I expect home PCs to continue as a solid staple among the majority of consumers. Although an increasing number of users are relying on their mobile phones for a growing range of regular activities, users prefer home PCs over smartphones or tablets for certain activities. Both thoughtful shopping and movie watching are helped with the clearer and larger images on bigger screens, such as those attached to traditional home desktops or integrated with all-in-one designs.

The biggest threat to home PCs usage is user’s willingness to shift their activities from one device type or ecosystem to another. Users are showing their growing acceptance of and demand for cross-platform applications while still expressing their incessant demands for convenience and simplicity. As users continue to increase their literacy and comfort with multiple ecosystems, and developers continue to streamline the multi-device/multi-OS experience, users will continue to follow the enticing cookies of compatibility through the forest of interoperability and may yet give up on their home PCs. Meanwhile, user inertia and habit are the greatest friends of the home PC.

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. In the TUP survey, we identified the connected devices being actively used, from those acquired with home/personal funds to those that are owned by employers, schools, or others. From these, we selected adults who are using at least one home 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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Basic cell phones, Consumer research, Desktops, Entertainment, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Shopping, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate

American Screen Time Remains Thirteen Trillion Hours [TUPdate]

American adults are using their connected devices as much as ever, in 2018 totaling 13 trillion hours per week with their Smartphones, PCs, Tablets, and Game Consoles. This is slightly lower than the 13.3 trillion-hour level in 2017.

This is based on the 36th wave of Technology User Profile – TUP 2018. This analysis is based on 7,886 U.S. survey respondents, 7,521 respondents in TUP 2017, and 7,336 in TUP 2016.

Total Screen Time Stabilizes

There has been growing media awareness and reporting about adverse social and health effects from the over-use of technology devices. These concerns have sparked the develop of apps and settings to help monitor and manage screen time. Meanwhile, Americans, and indeed also adults around the world, continue to find useful and entertaining ways to integrate actively connected devices into their lives.

Average Screen Time per Device Stabilizes

The growth in total hours has been partially due to the steadily growing population of online adults between 2016 and 2018. However, during this same time period, the average number of connected devices being actively used has gone down slightly, dropping from 4.3 in 2016 to 4.2 in 2017, and then 3.9 in 2018. The net effect is that the average number of hours per device has actually increased between 2016 and 2018, rising from 13.4 hours per week per device to 15.4.

Total Screen Time Shrinks Among Multi-Device Users

Many of the total screen hours are due to the busyness of the busiest users. In 2016, over a third (34%) of total device hours were due to the activity levels of users using 7 or more connected devices. In 2017, this many-device group dropped to be accounting for 31% of total hours, and by 2018 account for 26% of total hours.

Meanwhile, users with 2 to 4 devices grew from representing 39% of total hours in 2016 to 41% in 2017, and 47% in 2018. This type of bimodal distribution emphasizes the importance of separating fewer-device from multi-device users for a deeper and more relevant understanding.

Screen Time Growth Spans Mono and Multi-Device Users

Drilling down in the TUP data a little further, we can see that the average number of device hours has changed across users with many devices and also among those with few. For users with any given number of devices, the average number of hours increased. While it may seem that this would result in a higher number of total device hours, as mentioned earlier the average number of actively-used connected devices shrank, bringing the total average down.

Looking ahead

Do these trends point to more or fewer devices, or to more or fewer hours using them? I expect a continued wobble in the number of devices being used.

“BOB” is one of the strongest forces bringing about a rising average number of devices. The key benefit from a Best-Of-Breed is having a narrow-function device which does something well. High-end cameras are very popular with expert photographers who value their specialized capabilities. The first cell phones were simple enough for phone calls and did very little else.

Forces in the direction of users using fewer devices include the absorption that comes from functional substitution. Smartphones were able to incorporate photography – absorbing the functionality of most standalone cameras, especially for ordinary photographers. Similarly, smartphones offered music-playing – thereby replacing most iPods and MP3 players. To the extent smartphone screens can become large enough to rival larger-screened tablets and PCs, they can begin to act as substitutes for image-intensive activities such as shopping. Similarly, to the extent voice assistants truly take hold beyond the niche or novelty stage, devices which support these may begin to reduce user’s demand for as many connected devices.

As to screen time measurement and monitoring taking hold among the mass market, I expect that to go about as well as most New Year’s Resolutions, full of honest intention but ultimately most of us will be distracted back into our habits.

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, and this TUPdate focused on the U.S. From the installed base we focused in on online adults and how many hours 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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Devices, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate

PC Hours Continue to Climb

News flash: even more recent updates to this information are available to subscribers to the full Technology User Profile service.

Where do you spend your waking hours?

For most Americans, looking at a computer screen is the growing answer.

More of Americans’ time is with their computers – both at home and in the workplace. On average, Americans spent 25.9 hours a week using their PCs in 2005, up from 24.5 hours a week two years earlier. Both home and workplace PC usage levels have continued to grow in the last two years.

Why is this important?

As Americans integrate computers even further into their lives, the implications are wide-ranging, from their ergonomics and health, to privacy and national security, and even social interaction and consumerism. Besides the PC, software, and Internet companies, it also impacts media such as TV and radio that chase the attention of Americans’ eyeballs.

The total number of hours Americans use computers has climbed to 6.5 billion hours per week in 2005, up from 4.8 billion hours in 2004 and 4.3 billion hours in 2003. This is significant, representing 1 out of 7 total hours in a week, up from 1 of 12 only two years prior. To put this further into perspective, this is 20% of all waking hours, up from 13% only two years prior.

In the workplace, some occupational groups use computers much more than others. It’s hardly a surprise that Computer-Related occupations lead all Americans in their use of work computers, with an average of 37.6 hours per week. Since this is nearly all of a standard 40-hour workweek, we have to wonder if they’re having their lunches at their desks. More likely they’re working more hours than average.

Employees in Accounting & Finance jobs also use computers more than most, at 35.2 hours per week on average. In their case, it’s about spreadsheets – lots of spreadsheets. 79% of these employees cite spreadsheets as a regular computer activity, compared with 36% of other PC users.

At the other end of the spectrum, some occupational groups use computers less often, at nearly half the rate of the busiest. Of the Construction/Labor employees that use a work computer, the average is 21 hours per week. This is only slightly higher than the lowest group, Education/Training, who stand at 20.6 hours per week. Evidently, instructors spend more time in front of the classroom instead of their computer.

There are numerous factors that explain why Americans continue to increase their PC usage. Like the adaptable Swiss Army knife, the PC can be used for a wide range of activities reasonably well. Meanwhile, function-specific products, although technically superior at their core tasks, fail to convince convenience-hungry Americans. For example, cell phones have higher penetration than PCs, although are still primarily used for communication, despite efforts to entice callers to expand their handset experience to play games, take pictures, and organize their lives. They even have to compete with the PC as a communication device. Only a small number of Americans, 14%, agree with the statement “I Would Rather Use a Telephone Than Email.”

Even though TV media continue to vie for American’s eyeballs, a large number of Americans aren’t fully convinced. Nearly a third, 31%, agree with the statement “I Spend More Time Using my Computer Than Watching TV” and 28% agree that “The Internet is a Big Part of My Home Entertainment.”

Although the primacy of the PC isn’t assured forever, Americans continue to find ways for their PCs to be a big and growing part of their lives. This is a good sign for the health of the computer industry.

Average Hours Using a PC Continues to Climb

Total Hours Americans Use PCs

Leave a Comment

Filed under Consumer research, Households, Market Research, Statistics, Tech Market, Technology, Trends, TUP 2005