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How Do (They) Love Thee? Follow Their Brand Footprints

How Do (They) Love Thee? Follow Their Brand Footprints – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, March 17, 2017

“How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways.” So begins the 43rd of Elizabeth Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. After more than 160 years, this poetry still inspires.
This classic poem seems fitting for a research-based understanding of customer loyalty and, well, mutual loyalty and love. One might hope that love and loyalty would flow in both directions – between customers and company – and in turn would result in more delighted customers, better products and services, and more customers actively using more of a brand’s offerings. In addition to brand footprint measures such as market size and intensity, MetaFacts measures the shape, loyalty, and quality of technology users.

Apple’s Intensity Up and To the Right

Apple’s customers now rank highest in average number of Apple devices, an elemental measure of brand footprint, reflecting in part the intensity of customer’s involvement. When customers use more than one of a brand’s offerings, it reflects the value customers see and their depth of customer loyalty. Based on our most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP), Apple’s customers are actively using an average of 2.18 devices, spanning Macs, iPhones, iPads, an Apple TV box, Apple Watch, or some combination. Only one year earlier, our TUP 2015 wave reported that Apple’s device average was effectively on par with the footprint of Microsoft Windows devices.
Between 2014 and 2016, HP and Google Android/Chrome OS devices have seen their customer’s active device averages erode as Apple’s has gained. This is due in part to consumers abandoning older Google Android Tablets. Dell’s average rose slightly in 2015, only to sag slightly by 2016.

Breadth Coupled With Intensity

Breadth of usage, or market penetration, is another dimension of brand footprint. Coupled with intensity – as expressed by the average number of actively-used devices – a more complete view is clearer.

In market breadth and intensity, Windows devices are head and shoulders above other brands. Windows is in the upper-right quadrant for both measures. The long-time established brand continues to have the largest number of active users and above-average mean number of actively-used devices.
Apple stands out for having a market penetration on par with tech majors HP, Google, and Dell, yet with a strongly higher usage intensity. Their fewer, if mightier, customers have more Apple products than any other platform. In a quadrant to themselves, Apple’s expansion in active usage sets the stage for additional expanded offerings to their loyal customers, ranging from devices to subscription services.

The Brand Footprint Mix

The Apple brand has, for most of its history, been a specialized brand, purposely positioned as “different”. This skimming strategy has been well-supported by Apple’s focus on proprietary integration over standards managed by others. Apple’s current brand footprint robust when looking at the total number of devices in use as well as the balance of products in its actively-used mix. Google’s Android/Chrome mix is similarly broad, yet is smaller. Among US technology users, Google is playing a me-too catchup game to Apple’s broadly balanced acceptance.

HP’s and Dell’s brand footprints are composed of two product types, demonstrating what might be alternatively called a disciplined focus or a lack of diverse breadth. HP’s persistent dominance in Printers is unrivaled by Dell, or competitors Epson, Canon, or Brother. Dell’s footprint in PCs is only slightly larger than HP’s.
The strength of the Windows brand footprint is based on PCs. Only recently have Windows Tablets started making their mark, and promise to continue to challenge Apple’s dominant iPad and Google’s 2nd-ranked Tablets . Windows Smartphones are on the way out, with a usage base declining in the face of Apple iOS and Android.
HP solidly dominates Printer usage. While years ago Dell challenged HP when it entered the printer business, Dell’s current brand footprint is puny in comparison. HP’s PC business, while nearly equal to Dell’s, is similarly being challenged by Apple’s broadening usage.
Apple’s entire brand footprint is benefitting from recent acceptance of two newish categories – smart watches and TV boxes. Although Google is on par with Apple in these categories, collectively these products are expanding Apple’s footprint into users they otherwise haven’t reached.

Looking ahead

It takes much more than a brand halo to convert fickle customers into loyal ones. Much effort goes into the design, manufacturing, distribution, promotion, and integration of products and services.
While Apple and Google are working hard to further their OS against Windows, smoother integration can attract and hold customers longer than an OS alone. Presently, Apple’s MacOS and iOS aren’t fully compatible, a difference which may become more important to the growing number of Apple customers actively using both iPads and Macs. Google’s Android and Chrome OS offerings face a similar conundrum, with even less OS consistency due to the many versions in active use.
Beyond OS ecosystems, technology companies are also seeking other ways of winning groups of customers. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and joining Apple in racing to be the user’s choice for a voice assisted experience. Amazon’s recent release of Alexa on iOS is Amazon’s bid to establish dominance among voice assistants, and helping to support not only Amazon’s shopping footprint, but also their many other gateway products such as the Amazon Echo or Dot.
Pragmatically speaking, what matters is having customers and that they use many of a brand’s products and services. Measuring brand footprint by penetration and intensity are suitable metrics to measure market success both in size and quality. These metrics may be better than waiting for customers to compose love poems of “the depth and breadth and height” of their ardor for the brand.

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), as well as two previous 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.
This TUPdate was based on results in the TUP Chapter – Devices, Section FOOT/Brand Footprint and Section DEV_ECO/Device Ecosystems from TUP 2014, TUP 2015, and TUP 2016. Other related results include Section VOICEASST – Voice Assistant in TUP 2016 Chapter – Wearables, Hearables, Listening and Speaking.

Related MetaFAQs

The following related MetaFAQs address questions included in this TUPdate.

MetaFAQs Question TUP Reference
mq0004 Who are the biggest spenders – Apple’s, Dell’s, HP’s, or Google’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [790 SPENDxFOOT] Tech Spending
mq0008 How much does the HP printer footprint overlap Canon, Epson, and Brother? Chapter: K Printers  Section: K2-PRH_BRANDS/Home Printer Brands  Tables: [411 PR1xPRH_BRANDS] Printer #1
mq0022 How many Apple iPhone users have older iPhones or contracts? Chapter: H Mobile Phones  Section: H2-SP1/Smartphone #1  Tables: [390 SPxSP1] Smartphones
mq0044 How does the mix of device activities vary between Apple’s, Google’s, HP’s, and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [570 ACT_COMMxFOOT] Communication Activities
mq0052 How does the mix of device activities vary between Apple’s, Google’s, HP’s, and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [610 ACT_CLOUDxFOOT] Cloud Storage/Sharing Activities
mq0135 Are the highest share of Millennials in Apple’s footprint, Google’s, or Dell’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics
mq0142 How demographically similar are Apple’s best customers to Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics
mq0151 Who have the most Connected Devices – Apple’s best customers, Google’s, HP’s, or Dell’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [490 UNITSxFOOT] Units
mq0182 Which brand footprint has the highest share of full-time-employeds? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics
mq0248 Who has the newest Smartphones – Apple’s best customers or Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [390 SPxFOOT] Smartphones
mq0258 How does the mix of devices differ between HP’s, Apple’s, Dell’s, Google’s, and LG’s footprint? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxFOOT] Key Device Metrics
mq0264 Who’s most likely to have an Apple iPhone – HP’s best customers or Dell’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [390 SPxFOOT] Smartphones
mq0272 How demographically similar are Apple’s best customers to Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [130 DHxFOOT] Household Demographics
mq0285 Are newer Smartphones used differently than older Smartphones? Chapter: H Mobile Phones  Section: H2-SP1/Smartphone #1  Tables: [390 SPxSP1] Smartphones
mq0325 Who have the most Windows devices – Apple’s best customers or Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [270 DEVxFOOT] Devices
mq0326 Which products do Apple’s best customers have fewer of? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxFOOT] Key Device Metrics
mq0334 Are Apple’s best customers more or less likely than average to be using a Workplace PC? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [280 PCxFOOT] PCs
mq0340 Do Apple’s best customers use their PCs for more or fewer hours than average PC users? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [280 PCxFOOT] PCs
mq0344 Who has the biggest purchase intentions – Apple’s or Google’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [810 PLANSxFOOT] Purchase Plans
mq0353 How does the mix of Connected Devices vary by Brand Footprint? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [490 UNITSxFOOT] Units
mq0356 Are Dell’s or HP’s customers more likely to have a Smartphone? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxFOOT] Key Device Metrics
mq0476 How far have Tablets penetrated HP’s and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [340 TABxFOOT] Tablet PCs
mq0680 How does the Smartphone OS share vary by age of PC? Chapter: X Custom  Section: X-CUSTOM/Custom  Tables: [390 SPxCUSTOM] Smartphones
mq0698 Which are used more often for a Voice Assistant, iPhones or Android Smartphones? Chapter: I Wearables, Hearables, Listening & Speaking  Section: I3-VOICEASST/Voice Assistance  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxVOICEASST] Key Device Metrics
mq0004 Who are the biggest spenders – Apple’s, Dell’s, HP’s, or Google’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [790 SPENDxFOOT] Tech Spending
mq0008 How much does the HP printer footprint overlap Canon, Epson, and Brother? Chapter: K Printers  Section: K2-PRH_BRANDS/Home Printer Brands  Tables: [411 PR1xPRH_BRANDS] Printer #1
mq0022 How many Apple iPhone users have older iPhones or contracts? Chapter: H Mobile Phones  Section: H2-SP1/Smartphone #1  Tables: [390 SPxSP1] Smartphones
mq0044 How does the mix of device activities vary between Apple’s, Google’s, HP’s, and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [570 ACT_COMMxFOOT] Communication Activities
mq0052 How does the mix of device activities vary between Apple’s, Google’s, HP’s, and Dell’s best customers? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [610 ACT_CLOUDxFOOT] Cloud Storage/Sharing Activities
mq0135 Are the highest share of Millennials in Apple’s footprint, Google’s, or Dell’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics
mq0142 How demographically similar are Apple’s best customers to Google’s? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D4-FOOT/Brand Footprint  Tables: [120 DRxFOOT] Respondent Demographics

 

 

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Filed under Desktops, Devices, Market Research, Market Sizing, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2016, TUPdate

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

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Tablet-First. Is it a thing? (TUPdate)

Tablet-First. Is it a thing? – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, February 17, 2017

Which comes first – Smartphone? Tablet? Notebook? For a small and steadily growing segment, the tablet comes first as the primary connected device.

Over the last three years, the share of connected adults using a tablet as their primary device has expanded. In our 2014 wave of TUP, we found that 6% of adults were using a tablet as their primary device – before a PC, mobile phone, or game console. In TUP 2015, the Tablet-First rate had grown to 7% and by TUP 2016, reached 9%.MetaFacts-td1702-tablet-first-trend-metafacts-tup-2014-2016-2017-02-16_10-02-19

It’s not as if these Tablet-First users are only using a tablet. Among Tablet-First users, half (50%) use a Smartphone as their secondary device, followed distantly by a Tower Desktop (15%), Basic cell phone (10%), and Notebook PC (9%). Continue reading

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Tech Purchase Plans – Some Wins and Some Fails (TUPdate)

Tech Purchase Plans – some wins and some fails – a TUPdate by Dan Ness

Some tech products seem to be on everyone’s shopping list, and yet that’s not really the case. Well, certainly smartphones and mobile PCs rank near the top, as they have for years. However, several highly-publicized products haven’t ranked in the top 20 while other less-acclaimed standbys continue to rank well.

Smartwatches by anyone except Apple or Google? Home Thermostats? Chromebooks? They’re not in the top 20, languishing along with basic feature phones. Only a small number of tech buyers are showing true interest.

Diving into the purchase plans from our most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP 2016), we’ve identified some very interesting patterns.

What are the top-planned tech products?

Smartphones top the list of purchase plans, with the majority being among those who already use a smartphone. Gaming PCs are strong, with Gaming Desktop PCs drawing nearly triple the interest of Gaming Notebook PCs. Traditional Notebooks continue to rank strongly, while other mobile PC plans are split between 2-in-1 and convertible designs.metafacts-top-30-plans-2016-12-08_16-51-01

Fitness trackers show promise, handily outranking plans for smartwatches by Apple, Google, or any of the many languishing others.

Two products continuing to show steady demand are the venerable Printer and Tower Desktop. Both continue to be ranked in the top 10 for interest.

Apple’s iPad continues to show solid interest, benefiting from recent product refreshes. Plans for Android tablets, however, don’t measure up to Apple’s.

Hits for key segments

What’s interesting is that most tech plans are not evenly spread across all technology users, and instead several key segments have plans that stand out from the pack.

Any tech purchase plans by age

One simple difference between those planning and those not planning – age. Tech purchase plans are stronger among younger than older adults.metafacts-plans-overall-by-age-2016-12-07_15-53-38

Younger adults have stronger plans to purchase any of the 30 tech products we surveyed respondents about. Adults age 30-34 are the peak group with overall purchase plans, with 77% planning to buy at least one product in the coming year. At the other end of the age spectrum, adults age 70 or above are the nadir group with respect to purchase plans, with 29% planning to buy any of the surveyed tech products.

Sigma analysis show youthful intensity

A summation analysis reveals stronger purchase intensity among younger than older adults. The sigma – summation of the plans for all of the respective tech products – shows that adults age 30-39 have the strongest plans of any age group. This is a more intensive curve than the above penetration analysis, reflecting the much broader range of plans among younger adults.metafacts-plans-summation-by-age-2016-12-07_15-53-38

The six most-age-skewed tech products

Six tech products stand out for being age-skewed – with the largest differences between plans among older and younger adults.

Gaming Desktop PCs are at the top of the list, with respect to the widest difference between those with and without plans by age groups. It’s not as if these tricked-out desktops are only pulled towards the youngest among us. The group with the strongest plans are adults age 30-34, which reflects in part that these older adults have the means to pay for these more-powerful PCs. It is also due in part that older adults have more PC usage and experience, with productivity activities as in game planning.

Smartphones – both Apple iPhones and Androids – are more popular with younger than older adults. Since younger adults have higher penetration of smartphone usage than older adults, this reflects a strong replacement market. Conversely, low interest levels also reflects a low likelihood for the smartphone market to strengthen its penetration among older adults.metafacts-age-skewed-plans-by-age-2016-12-07_16-23-42

PC purchase intentions are strongest among age 35-39 adults for more than one PC form factor. This reflects the desire for expanded PC use among this important segment, and also this group’s openness to have PCs which are packaged in different formats.

Something for each, but not every, age group
There’s something for everybody. Each age group has its preferences, with some products at the top of mind of nearly every age group. While looking at the top three ranked products within each age group, we found some interesting patterns. Apple’s iPhone is singular because it’s top-ranked in all groups – in the top three for all 11 age groups. Android Smartphones aren’t very far behind, being top-ranked in 9 groups. That the two oldest groups didn’t report Android Smartphones on their future purchase list may be due in part to the phone or carrier brand having stronger recognition than the Google Android operating system.

Three tech products are strongest among generally older groups – traditional notebooks, printers, and fitness trackers. That 7 of the 11 age groups rank traditional notebooks in the top of their shopping list bodes well for the venerable PC.

Although wearables such as Apple’s Watch and Google Wear have garnered much media attention, neither are in the top three for any age group. One wearable is, though, and it’s fitness trackers. Despite advertising often featuring slim younger women in yoga pants, fitness trackers only rank among the top three items for adults who are age 70 and above. This category is partly an example of aspirational marketing, appealing to those who want to be something they aren’t (yet).

  • The Apple iPhone is among the top 3 for all 11 age groups
  • Android Smartphone – ranked in 9 age groups – younger adults
  • Traditional Notebook – ranked in 7 groups – older adults
  • Printer – ranked in 4 age groups – generally older adults
  • Gaming Desktop PC – ranked in 4 age groups – younger adults
  • Fitness Tracker – only ranks in the top 3 in one age group – age 70+

The six most-spending-skewed tech products

Six tech products stand out based on analysis of consumer tech spending by quartiles. Top spenders – those in the top 1/4th of total household tech spending – are above average in their purchase plans for nearly every tech product. What’s interesting are the tech products which have captured above average interest among the next tier of buyers – those that are in the 3nd-highest quartile of total tech spending.

Within this spending segment, the six tech products which show above-average plans include three Apple products, three wearables, and a fun-oriented category.

The uniquely-strong products from Apple include the iPhone, iPad, and Watch. Apple’s regular product line refresh has helped keep interest high.metafacts-plans-by-spend-2016-12-07_14-32-45

Interestingly, interest for fitness trackers outpaces smartwatches, even among the biggest spenders. This supports, in part, the notion that cost would be a primary barrier to smartwatch adoption. Even more so, it reflects the early stage wearables have in the user’s device collection. There is still plenty of experimentation ahead, as entrants come and go, as ecosystems flower and fade, and mostly as more mainstream users integrate wearable devices into their regular activities.

What you have today – and what you’ll have next – Plans by current device combination
Our research continues to show that future tech purchases are strongly affected by consumer’s current products. Two device combinations stand out as those with the strongest tech purchase plans. Users with a desktop, notebook, mobile, and a tablet make up 31% of connected adults, and those with a notebook, tablet, and mobile phone are 10% of adults. Users with other combinations have tech purchase plans below average.

Five tech products stand out by having stronger-than-average plans among these two popular combos. The Apple iPhone tops the list, with 13% of all connected adults planning to buy one. For those with all four devices – desktop, notebook, tablet, and mobile phone – 19% plan to get an Apple iPhone, well above the average. Those juggling three devices – notebook, tablet, and mobile phone – are also above average in planning to get an Apple iPhone, with 16% planning to get one.metafacts-plans-by-combo-2016-12-07_15-47-47

Purchase plans for traditional notebooks are also strong, and in this case strongest among this 2nd-ranked combination, representing an additional or replacement notebook for 13% of adults. Plans for the largest combination segment are also stronger than average, at 11% of these adults.

Other above tech products for both of these device-combination segments include a Fitness Tracker such as a FitBit, an Apple iPad, and an Android Tablet.

Looking ahead
Looking ahead, we expect the tech-device-rich to get tech-richer, with those who have the broadest collection of technology products and services to remain within that segment of super-tech users. Wearables are still having a tough time finding interest among a broad market, much less finding broad adoption.

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.

Numerous TUP sections feature analysis of spending plans. These include the Overview, Age Ranges, Age, Gender, Adoption Summary, PC Adoption, Mobile Phone Adoption, Adoption Years, Device Combinations, Primary and Secondary Devices, Devices OS Ecosystems, Brand Footprint, Key Devices, Key Devices/OS, Home-Family PCs, Recently Purchase PCs, Purchase Year, Tablets, Mobile Phones, Smartphone, Basic cell phone, Smartphone Data, Lines, Spending, Wearable Technology, Hearables/Listening, TVs, Music Players, and Social Networks sections.

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Apple’s Long March into the Majority (TUPdate)

Apple’s Long March into the Majority – Dan Ness, October 27, 2016
td1609-apple-penetration-2016-10-25-1311
For the first time in tech history, Apple has reached the half-way mark in the active installed base. As of our 2016 wave of the TUP survey, 52% of connected adults are using either an Apple Macintosh, iPhone, or iPad. This overall penetration statistic reflects that at least one key Apple device is in the hands of over half of the market.

Apple’s achievement has been from multiple successes – not only one blockbuster. In fact, just as all boats rise together on the same tide, each of Apple iPad, iPhone, and Macs have attained greater market penetration.

The iPhone has lead the charge, passing one-fourth of U.S. connected adults in 2015 to reach 36% in 2016. The iPad has experienced the most dramatic growth, stretching beyond one in five adults in 2015 to 29% in 2016. Of the three key devices, the Apple Mac and MacBooks are starting to mark their mark beyond their prior return customers. Having been strong among students and mobile employees for some time, especially MacBooks, both Apple notebooks and desktops are reaching a wider audience.
metafacts-td1609-apple-device-penetration-2016-10-25-1305

Apple has achieved this in part through balancing proprietary designs with open standards. To encourage and support use by users of only one of Apple’s key devices, each one needs to play well with other competitive products. For example, iPhone and Android Smartphone users need to be able to communicate with each other. Although Apple hasn’t fully opened their iMessage system, basic text messaging works cross-platform. iPad users need to be able to easily browse web pages with as much ease as on a Windows or Android Tablet, even while Apple famously avoided enabling Adobe Flash. Mac users need to be able to share documents with Windows users, and that’s smoother than ever.

Apple’s growing penetration has also been one of expanding breadth. Now effectively half (49%) of Apple’s customers have two or more of Apple’s key devices. Only one year ago, in 2015, only 41% had that many. The most demonstrably loyal Apple customers have the full collection of these three key devices. This continues to be a small group, at 15% of Apple’s customers for these devices, and yet this is a growing group.

Diving into the combinations
To get a more complete understanding into the dynamics, I dove more deeply into the TUP data. One fruitful dimension of our custom forecasting analysis is based on what users have. For most tech products and service, buyers begin with what they have. The current set of products has a strong impact on shaping future choices. For example, when consumers mull buying a tablet, those already using both an Apple Mac and iPhone are more likely to include an iPad in their consideration set than those with no Apple devices at all. They’re also more likely to have an ongoing connection with Apple, even if it’s limited to periodic operating system updates. Similarly, those with any single Apple device are more likely than non-users to at least consider an additional Apple device. Of course, this isn’t automatically true, since in some cases in can backfire if users are having bad experiences with the product, brand, or in this case, the OS ecosystem.

The largest group based on combinations of Apple devices – those who are only using an iPhone, and not an iPhone or iPad. This group has been largest since 2014. Those who have added an iPad to go along with their iPhone have brought this 2-Apple-device combination to be the 2nd-largest. Perhaps surprisingly, the 3rd-largest Apple-device combination is the set of users who have all three. Although this Apple-intense group only represents 8% of all connected adults, it’s grown from being 4% only one year prior.metafacts-td1609-apple-combo-penetration-2016-10-25-1157

Into the [main] stream
With Apple’s move into the majority, will it be harder for Apple to be perceived as elite, special, and “different”?

Even in the 1980’s when I was researching markets for Apple, the company was different and special. From its beginning, Apple appealed to and reached a small share of the market. There have always been certain segments of the market where Apple has dominated at least some of the time, such as among creatives in graphics, marketing, and education.

We are conducting additional analysis of technology users by their employment role and industry, to see where other TUP results point to strongthening or weakening Apple adoption through buyer’s purchase intentions, refresh rates for PCs (Macs), Smartphones, and Tablets, socioeconomic factors, and many other factors.

Looking ahead
We expect Apple’s expansion to continue, although not with as high growth rates as in the past. In the tablet business, Microsoft’s Surface has made recent inroads, such that 12% of connected adults are using a Windows Tablet. Google Android Tablets are also a strong force, being actively used by 17%.

With the recent refresh of the MacBook line, Apple stands to continue its broadening penetration. The foremost  buyers will come from within the ranks of current MacBook and Apple desktops users. We expect a smaller percentage of buyers to come from the ranks of current Windows Notebook users. Stronger yes will be those users with at least one Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

This trope can finally be truthfully said: these segments are Apple’s low-hanging fruit.

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 Devices Chapter details device combinations, as well as device primacy, OS Ecosystems, brand footprint, and other key analysis points.

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Filed under Market Research, Market Segmentation, Market Sizing, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016, TUPdate