Tag Archives: Laggards

Early Adopters Don’t Always Act Their Age in the U.S. or Elsewhere

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

Are Americans really a nation of early adopters? Are early adopters mostly age 18-24 in the U.S. and other countries? While Americans pride themselves on many forward-thinking attributes, it is not ranked first for early PC adopters compared with many developed and developing countries.

Think back to how old you were the first time you used a personal computer. If you are American and were 17 or younger, then you’re in the youngest 21% of American early adopters and ranked 10th among 16 major countries. As an under-18 adopter in Brazil, you’re less unique, being in the same group as 31% of today’s Brazilian online adults, and ranked 1st for youthful PC adoption. If you were 26 and Italian, Australian, or Saudi Arabian, then you were younger than average in your country.

There are many reasons that some countries have a higher share of young first-time PC users than other countries. One element is how evenly income is distributed, as shown by measures such as the Gini coefficient. Countries such as Brazil and Mexico have a similar distribution of income today as they had when PCs were becoming widely available there in the 1980’s, so today’s wealthier adults were most often in wealthy families which had better access to technology. There are also cultural differences, some of which encourage younger people to use technology for their education or economic future. Other cultures may discourage youngsters from using technology, such as for their safety and privacy. Saudi Arabia is affected by this cultural preference, even though its wealthiest citizens are still the strongest adopters.

South Korea is at the latest end of the age-adoption spectrum. On first glance, this may seem counterintuitive to Korea-watchers, since South Korea has enacted and maintained national policy to narrow its digital divide and to get its population online and connected to the Internet. In fact, in doing so, South Korea leapfrogged many other countries in the speed and breadth of its citizens’ connectivity. However, since this was enacted relatively recently, it accelerated the adoption rate among adults in the workplace, and to some degree less among younger children in homes.

Why is this important?

Assuming that early adopters are all young Millennial Gen Y or Gen Z oversimplifies the market and misses the mark. Experience matters, since tech-savvy users make different decisions than relative newbies, particularly when correcting for age.

The age of first PC use as well as the years of usage tell a lot about the person’s experience, with the past pointing the way toward their likeliest future choices. After all, someone who has gone through 10 versions of Microsoft Windows (including Millennium Edition) will have a different perspective than a similarly-aged first-time PC user.

In conducting factor analysis with the Technology User Profile datasets, MetaFacts finds that both earliest age of adoption and length of experience are strong additional factors to explain the variance when predicting the heaviest and lightest consumers of new information technology and consumer electronics products and services. These factors are in addition to other other more standard demographics. In other words, likelihood to adopt new technology is not only about youth; early adopters are more likely to act like early adopters even as they age.

This has implications for any tech marketers seeking a more effective path than the simplified approach of focusing marketing primarily to certain younger age groups. The first implication is to lower the risk of wasting resources with misdirected energy. Another implication is that new & stronger markets may emerge beyond the stereotypical young adopter as early adopter, leading to even more effective results.

Source

The findings in this TUPdate are drawn from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Survey. In each wave of Technology User Profile, we survey a representative sample of respondents about their use of mobile phones, computers, technology attitudes, and many other consumer electronics products and services, behavioral and socioeconomic factors. Current TUP subscribers can access and drill down more deeply into this phenomenon using TUP Interactive Access or with their datasets.

We began the above analysis by first looking at the answers from over 30,889 respondents in the Technology User Profile service and then drilled down further into their profiles to get a more complete picture.

To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities  – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other questions TUP answers on www.technologyuser.com. Tech market research professionals can license direct access to TUP.

Contact MetaFacts to access the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition report, which covers the broader range of key trends. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing syndicated original research on the market shifts, trends and consumer profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology products and services. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Privacy is on the mind of savvy early adopters as they resist location sharing – A MetaFacts TUPdate

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

Are early adopters starting to act like laggards? It may seem a paradox that the most forward-thinking consumers – the first to adopt smartphones – would also be the ones more strongly avoiding unique smartphone features.

The true answer is that consumers are more complex and intelligent than simplistic adoption curve analysis suggests. In choosing mobile phones, they are navigating between the sirens and rocks of enticing deals, identity theft, entertainment, carrier signal strength (or weakness), desire for social connections, misinformation, privacy, trust, and much more.

When it comes to data security & privacy, most Smartphone users express concern and corresponding action. A higher share of Smartphone than Basic Mobile Phone users take steps to protect their security and privacy, including disabling some features.

Privacy Concerns for Smartphones and Basic Mobile Phones

Location services have been integral to Smartphones and Feature Phones for years and most handsets give subscribers the option to minimize tracking. However, recent widely publicized breaches have brought this closer to the forefront of consumer’s buying behavior.

Age and gender alone do not truly define the privacy-aware from others; correcting for age shows that tech experience matters. Most Smartphone users today have more tech experience than average users, so are savvy about settings and controls and have privacy and security concerns for PCs which are inherited by their Smartphones.

App developers which assume settings will be on by default, such as location identification, will encounter market resistance. Privacy and Security are issues which can suddenly inflame public sentiment. Even though customers may have read agreements and adjusted their privacy & security settings, many have an expectation of being private and secure.

Consumers vote with their responses, as well as their fingers and wallets. Building (or rebuilding) trust is a widespread issue, and certainly not only in the U.S. Each participant in the ecosystem of handling personally identifiable information has their part to play if location-based services and mobile payments are to flourish and last longer than fads. MetaFacts expects that privacy and security will continue to stay a concern among many consumers with reported breaches beyond those specifically on Smartphones – from identify theft to Wikileaks reports.

Source

The results in this TUPdate are drawn from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Survey. In our most recent wave of Technology User Profile, we surveyed American adults about their use of mobile phones, technology attitudes, and many other behavioral and socioeconomic factors. Current TUP subscribers can access and drill down more deeply into this phenomenon using TUP Interactive Access or with their datasets.

We started this analysis by first looking at the answers from 8,175 U.S. respondents in the Technology User Profile service and then drilled down further into their profiles to get a more complete picture.

Contact MetaFacts to access the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition report, which covers the broader range of key trends. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically.

These editions are for the U.S. based on the 2010 wave of Technology User Profile gathered among a scrupulously selected set of representative respondents, surveyed both online and offline.

To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other questions TUP answers on www.technologyuser.com. Tech market research professionals who want a solid resource they can use immediately after industry events such as mergers, or even use prior to anticipated events, can license direct access to TUP.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry trends and facts. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Technology User Overview Report, TUP 2010, TUPdate

Some households with older Windows versions are planning to upgrade while still taking advantage of older technology

It might be presumed that households with older versions of Windows are also laggards for other products, from consumer electronics to peripherals.

Three out of 25 (15%) households with older versions of Windows are planning to buy a flat panel LCD monitor and one in ten (10%) are planning to subscribe to broadband; while one in four (24%) Older Windows Households are planning to buy a digital to analog TV converter box.

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This information is released from the Home Operating Systems Profile Report, a Technology User Profile solution from MetaFacts. It is based on recent survey-based research, reporting directly from a representative sample of actual users. The Home Operating Systems Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website – MetaFacts.com

Other findings in the MetaFacts Operating Systems Profile Report include:

  • Operating System Landscape
    • Multi-PC and Multi-OS Households
  • Home Operating Systems and Demographics
    • Having children in the household does make a difference for Vista
    • Household employment and operating system
    • Education level and operating system within the household
    • Annual household income and operating system
    • People age 18-34 are using more Apple primary home PCs than older people
  • Purchase Channels
    • Apple gets a bigger share of direct sales than Windows PCs
  • PC Brands & Operating Systems
    • New PC brands bought by operating system
    • Total installed base for all primary home PCs shows some movement from the big brands in the new PC market
  • Changes in PC Form Factors – Laptops are coming on strong as new primary PC form factor
  • How Different Operating Systems are Used Differently
    • Email is the most frequent activity of users on all primary home PCs
    • New primary home PC user activities
  • Operating Systems and Other Consumer Electronics
    • Handheld device use and operating system of the household
    • Imaging behavior and household operating system
    • Television viewing habits and operating system in the household
    • Convenience is the key for households that have at least one Apple Home PC
    • Some Older Windows Households are planning to upgrade while still taking advantage of older technology
  • Technology Attitudes and Operating Systems
    • Attitudes of adult PC users vary with operating system

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Broadband, Digital Imaging, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300 or www.metafacts.com

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008

TUPdates: Among Home Computer Users, Beginners and Novices Still Rule

Most home PC users (more than 60 percent, in fact) have less than ten years experience using a PC, and add-ons like digital cameras and broadband Internet connections may only intimidate them. But there are also plenty of veterans sitting at home PCs, and the figures (derived from the latest Technology User Profile research from MetaFacts, with a sample of 10,418 users) concerning the experience level of home users hide some surprises.

For instance: yes, home users are less experienced than workplace users-but there are nearly as many long-time veterans in each market. The early adopters with over 20 years of computer experience number 6.3% of the home PC users and a close 7.6% of workplace users. But the basic fact is that a healthy majority of home PC buyers will be either beginners (with one to five years’ experience) or novices (six to ten years), with the two groups together representing nearly two-thirds (61.3%). The numbers change dramatically after the 10-year level, with fewer and fewer home users in the tiers with more experience. But, surprisingly, there is a significant bulge in the novice (six to ten years) tier. That tier is 45 percent larger than the beginner tier, and bigger than the next two tiers put together (i.e., those with 11 to 15 years, and those with 16 to 20 years experience.) Evidently there was a disproportionately large uptake of home PCs in the late 1990s, driven with the mass market’s discovery of email, and other off-shoots of the dot-com bubble catching the buyers’ fancies.

But while beginners continue to arrive at (and expand) the market, they are evidently not being drawn by the siren call of digital cameras, or of broadband Internet connectivity. In the beginner tier, digital camera ownership was 26 percent lower than the rate of PC ownership, and the percent subscribing to a broadband Internet connection was 32 percent lower than the rate of computer ownership. Evidently, beginners have all they can handle with the basic PC, and may be more likely to be frightened than enticed by additional options. But these adoption rates are made up for by modestly higher rates among the more experienced tiers.

When ranked by income, the number of beginners with incomes falling below $50,000 per year was far above average (34.7 percent were beginners, versus 25 percent for total home PC users.) In that income bracket there was no real bulge-the beginner tier was almost as large as the novice tier. Presumably, this concentration of beginners stems from the presence of a lot of young people in the lower income brackets, who have not climbed the income ladder yet. At the same time, they have had not had time to buy many PCs for their homes, assuming they even have their own homes. This spike in the figures would point the advisability of youth-oriented advertising, to instill brand recognition and loyalty in those who are just coming into the market. But don’t forget that these people are also in the lower income bracket, meaning that they are likely to be extremely price conscious.

What did not significantly sway the figures away from the average was the presence or absence of children in the home-computer experience and parenthood appear to be separate issues. (The majority of respondents, however, reported having children in the home.) The presence or absence of child and teenage users, however, was a slightly different story. Those with child users in the home (aged three to 12) showed experience rates very close to the average, indicating little impact on the market. But those reporting teenaged users (aged 13 to 19) showed experience rates slightly higher than the average-but only in the novice tier. This would indicate that the impact of teenage users is small, but should not be discounted.

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TUPdates: Americans Are Pro-Technology–On The Surface

Americans tend to be pro-technology-but that statement hides a lot of variation. Some of the variation is predictable-older people don’t like technology as much as younger ones, and low-income people don’t like it as much as their affluent neighbors. The West likes technology more than the other regions. But within those observations lie some surprises. For instance, Montana and Wyoming, while adjacent, are poles apart. Factory workers like technology more than lawyers.

Why is this important?

Wherever or whoever they are, those with pro-technology attitudes buy vastly more technology products than those with anti-technology leanings.

These insights into pro-and anti-technology attitudes are derived from the latest research from MetaFacts, Inc., involving analysis of answers to six questions from 32,130 PC users and non-users. These questions centered on their attitudes about keeping up with the latest technology, staying with the tried and true, and their electronics buying experiences. A cluster analysis revealed three different segments, two of which were more pro-technology than an anti-technology segment. On the whole, MetaFacts found that Americans lean toward technology, with 36.7 percent of households preferring not to stay with the tried & true and claiming long electronics shopping experience, indicating they were pro-technology. Meanwhile, 32.5 percent were also positive on technology, and more strongly than other Americans expressed an urgency to keep up with technology changes even before they felt the need. The remaining 30.9 percent revealed anti-technology attitudes, also preferring to hold off on purchases until prices dropped.

Regional attitudes were about what you’d expect. The Mountain and Pacific regions showed a significant leaning toward technology, while the central regions generally leaned away. New England and the South Atlantic regions were solidly in the middle. But when the responses were broken down to the state level, there was less of a pattern. Ranked by state, Wyoming, Delaware, New Mexico, and New Hampshire are the most pro-technology, while Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas and Montana are the most anti-technology. But with neighbors like Montana and Wyoming at polar extremes, it is clear that a geographic perspective-while illuminating-is not by itself sufficient for understanding American technology attitudes. You have to dig deeper into the demographics. (In case you were wondering, Oakland, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Denver and Rochester have the most pronounced pro-technology attitudes of the top 50 metropolitan areas in the U.S. Meanwhile, Cleveland, Columbus, Bergen/Passaic, NJ, and Fort Worth are the most technologically conservative.)

In terms of household income, those with lower incomes leaned away from technology-except those in the lowest range, where the pro-and anti-technology attitudes pretty much balanced out. The respondents started leaning toward technology after making at least $50,000 a year. But above $60,000 they leaned to the middle until they started making above $150,000. The most affluent were firmly pro-technology.

In terms of lifestyle and life stage, older people were more anti-technology than younger ones, and DINKs (double income no kids) were particularly pro-tech. Single parents were more pro-technology than working couple parents, who were solidly in the comfort zone. SINKs (Single income no kids) were firmly in the comfort zone, as were traditional families of all incomes.

Single-income households leaned toward technology while double-income households were in the mid-range comfort zone. The unemployed were anti-technology. Households with children were rooted in the comfort zone.

Examination of the occupations of the respondents, however, showed the most dramatic splits-and surprises. It may come as no shock to learn that that those in engineering and the sciences leaned toward technology by a rate of three to one. Less extreme were the pronounced pro-technology attitudes of the technicians, administrators, government officials, and general office workers. Oddly, lawyers and judges had a pronounced anti-technology attitude, also sadly shared by teachers, librarians, bankers and nurses. Solidly in the comfort level were writers, artists, cashiers, factory workers, janitors-and, weirdly, computer scientists. (Presumably, they are too busy tinkering with it to love it.) Some occupations showed odd splits between the extremes, such as farmers and fishermen, police, and athletes. Apparently, an active life makes you feel passionately one way or the other about technology.

When grouped in industry sectors, on average those in manufacturing were strongly pro-technology, while those in industrial and financial jobs and trades were anti-technology. Those in the government and services sectors were fairly evenly split. When these were broken into verticals, strong pro-technology attitudes were found in data processing (no surprise there) and (more surprisingly) among those involved in lodging, printing, metal fabrication, and transportation. Evidently those people appreciate what computers can do for them. More surprising were the anti-technology leanings of those involved in banking, insurance, and local government. Emphatically in the comfort zone were those involved in telephony and broadcasting, plus doctors, dentists and veterinarians. Postal and delivery workers were oddly split between the extremes.

The size of the enterprise that the respondent worked for also had a consistent effect on technology attitudes. Those in small enterprises (less than 20 people) had clear anti-technology attitudes. Then their attitudes switched to pro-technology when they worked for enterprises with 20-100 people. Above 100 people the trend became increasingly anti-technology until the enterprise reached 1000 people, when it swung the other way. (It may be that those in mid-range enterprise have more control of their desktops, and therefore appreciate computers more.)

Of great interest to marketers was the fact that the survey also showed that respondents with pro-technology attitudes bought technology products at about twice the rate of those with anti-technology attitudes. This was especially the case with personal video recorders, portable MP3 players, handheld GPS devices, premium cable TV, digital cable TV, satellite radio, digital camcorders, hands-free cellular phones, and in-car DVD or VCR players. And let’s not forget fax machines. In terms of computer peripherals, the pro-technology people were up to four times more likely to own certain items, such as USB hubs and external hard drives. Additionally, when asked about what purchases they planned to make within the next 12 months, the pro-technology crowd had twice the plans of the anti-technology crowd.

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