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 “Inexorable Device Trends – Beyond the Niche, Fad, and Fizzle”

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 “What is the penetration of home-owned computing devices? (MetaFAQs)”

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.

Continue reading “Is there an age skew for using VR Headsets? (MetaFAQs)”

Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders (TUPdate)

Home Printer Brands-from Refillers & Laggards to Bigger Spenders – Dan Ness, November 18, 2016

Home printer makers do their best to make innovate products, manage their distribution, and support their customers – all while competing. Buyers, meanwhile, make their choices. Interestingly, all home buyers aren’t created equally, and some brands have carved out a customer base which may or may not be favorable for them.

Home printer buyers can be tough on some brands. Some users choose refills instead of new ink, while others spend much more on supplies and technology than the users of other brands. Meanwhile, others have a longer printer replacement cycle.

Older and newer printersMetaFacts-td1611-home-printer-age

HP can justifiably claim that home printer owners get longer use. Users of HP Home Printers use older printers than do users of other major home printer brands. The average printer age is 2.4 to 2.6 years for printers being used in the prior 90 days by Brother, Canon, or Epson home printer users. In contrast, among HP home printer users, the average printer age is 3 years.

Active with images and graphics

Users with some brands have attracted more or less graphics-oriented users. There is a different profile based on their breadth of graphics and image-oriented activities across their connected devices, such as PCs, Tablets, and Smartphones.Metafacts-td1611-home-printer-activity-breadth

Users of Brother Home Printers have the widest range of graphics/image activities. Breadth of use is higher than those with other home printer brands. Nearly half (46%) of Brother home printer users are in the top-third.

Uniquely-strong activities with connected devices among Brother home printer users are creating personal graphics/presentations (38% of Brother users vs. 28% nationally) and work graphics/presentations (37% versus 28% nationally).

Use of refills

Whose Home Printer customers are most likely to use refilled ink/toner?metafacts-td1611-home-printer-refills

Among major home printer brands, Epson’s users have the highest rate of using refilled ink cartridges. Over one-third (35%) do so, a 53% higher rate than the national average of 23%. Just over a quarter (26%) of Canon’s home printer brands do.

Tech spending

Brother’s home printer users spend the most on their home technology devices and services. Over one-third (34%) of these users are in the top quartile of consumer technology spenders. Brother home printer users spend substantially more than users of other major home printer brands. At $10.2k per year, this is 30% higher than the national average of $7.9k.metafacts-td1611-home-printer-spending

Brother’s home printer users also outspend on levels on ink, toner, and paper. Compared to the national average, their annual spend of $980 is 53% higher than the national average of $640.

Experience levels

Epson’s home printer users have the least tech experience. Twenty percent first started using a desktop PC within the last 8 years, versus the 12% national average. Similarly, 37% first started using a basic cell phone within the last 8 years, a rate 54% higher than the national share of 24%.metafacts-td1611-home-printer-adoption

HP is at the other end of the spectrum, having attracted a more-experienced tech users. Although this measure of tech adoption – years  since first using a given device – also reflects older users, when correcting for age, this same pattern holds true. Epson has a higher share of tech laggards than other home printer brands. Comparing similarly-aged users, more of Epson’s users were laggards – in the last 16% to adopt desktops, notebooks, smartphones, basic cell phones, and tablets.

Among customers with less tech experience, support costs can be higher, and products, marketing messages, and instructions need to be simpler and clearer. Being strong in any particular market segment may have benefits, however if they’re more expensive to support and sell too, over the long run other segments may be more worthwhile to pursue.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on the most-recent results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2016 survey, its 34th wave, with 7,334 respondents (US). Trend information is based on prior waves. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers can tap into any of the following TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

The TUP 2016 Printers Chapter details printer brands, types, printing activities, and other key analysis points. The TUP 2016 Technology Adoption Chapter drills down into experience to profile Early Adopters, the Early and Late Majority, and Laggards.

Connected device combos for Males 18-44 – de rigueur to commandos (MetaFAQs)

Which combination of connected devices is most used by Males 18-44?

Aren’t young males considered enough of a bellwether group to lead the rest of the market?

If so, might there be many who have chosen to forgo using a Desktop or Notebook PC, and rely only on their Smartphone or Tablet and Smartphone?

Our research shows that young males, age 18-44, continue to include a PC in effectively every combination of connected devices they actively use. Also, as a group they have clear preferences about which device combination they choose. Well over half, 59%, actively use one of two major combinations of devices. metafacts-metafaqs-mq0556-2016-11-01_14-52-53

The device combination standing head and shoulders above all others includes many types of devices. In use by 44% of males age 18-44, the combo de rigueur includes a Tablet, both a Notebook and Desktop PC, and a mobile phone.

The second-used combination, used by just one one-sixth (15%), includes a Smartphone and either a Desktop or Notebook PC. This combination does not include a Tablet.

The third-used combination is similar with the second-used combination. Account ingfor 12% of adults in this group, it includes a Tablet, mobile, and PC. The PC is not a Notebook, but instead is a Desktop PC.

The PC is very much alive among males age 18-44, being present in every device combination except one. That combination includes only a Tablet and mobile phone only includes a few commandos, and number only 3% of males 18-44.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active younger males.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapter with the most information about device usage and combinations is the TUP 2016 Devices Chapter.

This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapters with the most information about activities is the TUP 2016 Printers Chapter.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.