Tag Archives: Market segmentation

Tech for some of us? Tech usage and age (TUPdate)

Tech for some of us? Tech usage and age – Dan Ness, November 10, 2016

I’ve been to county fairs where a carnival seer will guess your age and weight. If these diviners were steeped in tech awareness, might they be able to go further and guesstimate if the person uses a video doorbell, 3D printer, or VR headset? I doubt it. Not being psychic, we rely on directly asking people through scientific surveys.

Although age alone doesn’t tell everything about a technology user, analysis of the market by age reveals some striking differences in user’s technology activities, use cases, consumer electronics penetration, connected device usage, and tech purchase intentions.MetaFacts td1611-plans-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-23-41

Market penetration is steeply skewed towards younger adults for most consumer electronics products and services. Analyzing our survey results from TUP 2016, most consumer electronics products index higher among younger than older adults. (An index of 100 means that the product is being used as the same rate as the national average.) Products that index well above 200 (double the national rate) for age 25-39 are many, including OTT TV Boxes ASUS Cube, Google Nexus Player and Google/Android TV. To dispel the notion this age group is sedentary, golf swing analyzers also index high. Furthermore, this group is tech-feathering their nests with video doorbells and smart locks.MetaFacts td16-elder-skewed-2016-11-09_16-51-10

Older adults can claim dominance in other consumer electronics products and services. Subscription to Cable TV is stronger among older than younger adults. Many younger adults that watch TV do so using the Internet. Turntables that play vinyl albums (Record Players) index more strongly among older adults. This may in part reflect that older adults may still have vinyl collections to play, while younger adults can either play newer more-expensive albums or track down older LPs. The elder-skewed usage indexes are not as strongly defined as those for youth-skewed, reflecting moderate use of both of these products and services among younger adults.

I know from decades of consumer research that age is only one factor describing technology users. So, I drilled down further into TUP to adjust for educational attainment and employment status. By rank order, the list of age-skewed consumer electronics is nearly identical by age for employed and self-employed adults. This pattern is similar for those who are college educated.

A similar pattern emerges for Connected Devices. Certain products are being used by a higher share of younger than older adults.MetaFacts td1611-devices-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-25-15

Interestingly, the highest-ranked youth-skewed top devices weren’t personally paid for by younger adults, and instead were bought by their employers. These range from work e-Book Readers and Tablets to All-in-One PCs and yes, Basic cell phones. When younger adults buy tech with their own money, two more highly-favored devices are Game Consoles and Apple MacBooks. Furthermore, whether as a sign of mobility, resourcefulness or freeloading, younger adults index higher for use of a public/shared printer, such as might be in a cybercafé, library, or hotel business center. They also index higher for using three or more printers, regardless of ownership.

There’s an old adage that goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is likely uttered more often among older than younger adults. The active installed base for older adults skews higher for Home PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Personal basic feature phones also index higher by older adults.MetaFacts td1611-devices-elder-skewed-2016-11-10_09-24-29

Considering the near future through buyer sentiment, a similarly distinctive young/old pattern emerges. Gaming Desktops and Gaming Notebooks, those highly-configured clocked-up fun machines, are skewed more steeply than current usage indexes. Smaller and often more-stylish PCs in the Mini Desktop PC form factor rank strongest. One product which might surprise some is the Apple iPod Touch. It’s effectively a Wi-Fi iPhone, capable of running many iOS apps although without cellular coverage. Since younger adults index higher for Work Basic feature phones, perhaps this device is a stepping stone or companion. Other notable youth-skewing planned devices include wearables – Android SmartWatch, Apple Watch, or another Smart Watch.

Purchase intentions skewed toward older adults shows a different picture. From the long list of technology products we surveyed about, none show a measurably strong skew among older adults. The three products even near to being stronger for purchase intentions are the basic cell phone, a printer, and traditional notebook PC. As I mentioned earlier, younger adults have a higher likelihood to be using a work or public/shared printer than older adults, which may contribute to them not being as eager to buy one of their own. As to traditional notebooks, younger adults are also the ones more strongly considering convertible and 2-in-1 designs, while also many consider traditionals. The picture for basic cell phones is scattered due to their continued decline, so any remaining plans are less aligned by age than by socioeconomic situation.MetaFacts td1611-plans-youth-skewed-2016-11-10_09-23-41

There’s another dimension to age that bears inclusion – experience. Newbie users make different choices than technology veterans. I dove into our technology adoption data in TUP to compare purchase plans by the longevity of the user’s experience. While those who are in the newest-third of users of PCs, Mobile Phones, or Tablets are also generally younger, that’s not entirely the case. First-time use for a Tablet is not limited to young adults; plenty of 30-something and 40-somethings are continuing to join the ranks of active Tablet users. In fact, 59% of adults who have used a Tablet PC for 1 year or less are age 35 and higher.MetaFacts td1611-plans-by-more-experience-2016-11-10_10-40-10

As we analyzed the purchase plans of the most-seasoned technology users – those who are in the top-third with the most years having used a PC, Mobile Phone, or Tablet, we found that purchase intentions are focused on different products than among newbies. 3D Printers, 2-in-1 Laptops, and Fitness trackers index much higher among the tech-experienced.

Gaming Notebooks, Gaming Desktops, and Mini Desktop PCs rank strongly among tech newbies. Some of this correlates strongly with lower age, as mentioned earlier. However, Tower Desktop PCs also rank strongly. Cloud Home Monitoring/Security solutions stand out as an up-and-coming area which are holding the interest of tech newbies, and less so among the tech-experienced.MetaFacts td1611-plans-by-less-experience-2016-11-10_10-40-10

Age is a good start in understanding technology users. But, like the skill of a carnival psychic, only goes so far.

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 User Profile Chapter details age, as well as life stage, age cohort, employer size, 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.

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Filed under 3D Printers, Basic cell phones, Behaviors and Activities, Convertibles, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, Devices, e-Book Readers, Game Consoles, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Printers, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Apple’s Long March into the Majority (TUPdate)

Apple’s Long March into the Majority – Dan Ness, October 27, 2016
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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.
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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

Forward-Leaning Users Define the Future

Cloud-based home security and energy management are on the cusp of either fizzling as a fad or expanding to a wider market, based on our recent MetaFacts market research. Also, the pattern consumers are exhibiting spells niche status for the Apple Watch, iPod and Chromebook.

In our analysis of a broad range of consumers spanning five countries, we separated the most forward-learning from the backward-learning, as one of our methods to predict the future of technology products and services. The most adventurous consumers point the way for the rest of the market, with their willingness to try the newest technology.Courtesy Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ Creative Commons

While Apple can justly lay claim to the Forward-Leaning for favoring many of their products. For example, iPhone and MacBooks are strongest among both the first and second tier of Forward-Leaning consumers. In contrast, many other products have lingered and languished among the forward-learning. Unless accepted by the next tier of consumers, a replacement market is the best hope for advanced tech products. Continue reading

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Filed under Backward-Leaning, Basic cell phones, Cloud Storage, Communication, Convertibles, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, e-Book Readers, Entertainment, Forward-Leaning, Market Research, Market Sizing, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2015, Usage Patterns

34% of connected adults actively use 4 or more devices

34% of connected adults actively use 4 or more devices

Connected adults are very connected, with one out of three (34%) regularly using 4 or more Internet-connected devices.

Research results from the forthcoming 2013 edition of Technology User Profile (TUP) detail the many devices online adults use to regularly connect to the Internet. In addition to sizing the market, the survey-based research details what people do with their devices. It reports which activities adults primarily use with which device. For example, TUP reports which market segments use their Smartphones or Desktops as their primary communication device, as well as which devices are primarily for fun, shopping, graphics, and other types of activities.

Juggling is becoming an important skill.

[Photo courtesy Robbie Veldwijk under a Creative Commons license]

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by | October 6, 2013 · 9:08 pm

Technology Consumer Demographics – solid market research from MetaFacts Technology User Profile

Extensive information about technology consumer demographics is available in TUP – Technology User Profile.

It’s not enough to know that someone may buy your product or service – it’s vital to know who and how many. True technology marketers and researchers know well how important it is to understand their current and future customers.

Often, the fabled early adopters have had a different demographic makeup than expected, causing serious mistakes and disconnects. The changes are far from over.

Below are a few examples of questions addressed in TUP related to technology consumer demographics. The full TUP service enables drilling down beyond the answers to these questions to identify which other technologies, services and behaviors are disruptive and to profile which market segments are and aren’t adopting. TUP is much more than a one-dimensional market view or opinion piece.

  • Age-related market adoption – which products and services are age-skewed? Which are skewed toward older rather than younger users?
  • Multitasking – who’s using many devices for many activities, versus few devices for many activities? How do user segments vary by quadrant?
  • How many seniors are online? How is their behavior different than younger online users?
  • Which smartphone OS is leading, and with which market segments?
  • Do PC users behave differently as they gain more experience? Are Newbies or Vets mostly focusing on certain activities versus a broad mixture?
  • Tech adoption cycles may not be as fast as the tech-focused think. How many and which users still use older tech products?
  • Is social networking only for certain age groups?
  • How do the market segments of mobile phone platforms vary? How does compare to Tablets and other key devices?
  • How does PC and online usage vary across segments such as workplace company size or industry?
  • What about the anti-social – those that aren’t in an online social network? Who are they? In what other ways are they actively communicating and having fun? How does their spending profile compare?
  • Entertainment primacy – what is the center of the user’s home entertainment world? Is it one device or many? Which devices and services, and among which segments?
  • Do Apple users “grow up and give up” their Apple? When do they get one again, if they do?
  • What is the impact on privacy concerns on use of social networking?
  • How much of the game-playing population is older versus younger?
  • What do most people do with their mobile phone as compared to their PC? Which user segments align with which platforms?
  • Who is printing coupons?
  • Who’s busiest – desktop users or notebook users? How do their profiles differ?
  • How central is game-playing to the general population? How about within certain key market segments?
  • Who is buying the highest-end PCs? Are there brand differences? What else do users buy and what else do they use?
  • Most-mobile customers – where do they go and what do they do?
  • Who spends the most hours online?
  • Which segments are the most music-intensive? What is the overlap of music-centered products and services by segment?
  • How tech-experienced are game-players?
  • How much have PC users integrated PCs into their personal lives?
  • How has the division of work vs. personal use of technology products continued to blur?
  • Are PC users primarily accessing the Internet at home, in the workplace, using friends or neighbor’s computers, or in public places such as libraries or cybercafés? Which users use other’s PCs and which have many to choose from?
  • What types and combinations of consumer electronics are homes using?
  • How many and which segments are watching and renting movies on which platforms?
  • How do market segments vary in demand opportunities for tech products and services?
  • To what extent do tech shoppers focus on certain channels for certain products versus staying with a smaller number of outlets?
  • Which market segments are dating online?
  • What else do they frequently do online? Have game-players been the first to adopt new products such as the Apple iPhone? Or, are they generally later adopters?
  • Which social networking sites are used most frequently by which segments?
  • How tech-sophisticated are game-players, within key gaming segments?
  • To what extent does game-playing drive online usage specifically and tech usage overall?
  • Special printer paper? Who uses it and what for? Is it only photos, or something else?
  • Which market segments are blogging? How do they compare to social networkers?
  • How are users communicating, given all their communication options?
  • How do consumer attitudes about purchasing technology differ between Apple, Hewlett Packard and Dell customers?
  • Do mobile PC users print differently than desktop users? Do the more-mobile use more or fewer printers? Do the more-mobile print different content?
  • Which PC brands dominate the PC market? How does this vary within market segment?
  • Are Apple’s best customers really unique?
  • What about the unemployed? Are they more or are they less tech-focused?
  • What do users sync or “store” in the cloud? How do users share images – social networking sites or photo-specific sites? Which users are the most active?
  • How is HP’s PC penetration within the overall HP footprint?
  • How PC/Online & Mobile Phone activities compare? How is this different for Tablets or eBook Readers? Which segments use which device for the most activities?
  • Beyond paper or plastic: which types of ink & toner are printer users buying? New or refilled? Original or competitor?
  • Which industry groups have varied levels of tech product adoption?
  • Which tech buyers focus more on retail than shopping online and vice versa?
  • What is the status of mobile phone transition, from basic feature phones to smartphones and non-users?
  • How rich is the user’s printing experience? Do they use only one printer or more than one? For multi-printer users, which ones do they use? Who are the most-active printer users?
  • Tracfone for oldsters? Who has the oldest segment by carrier?
  • How are Facebook users different from users of other Social Networks? Beside demographics, what else distinguishes these from each other?
  • Do game players bring their gaming with them into the workplace? To what extent? Which market segment does this the most?
  • Which combination of tech devices is the most popular today? How large is each segment? Who are in each segment? Which direction are they headed with their buying plans?
  • How does the life and lifespan of a PC vary by form factor? Does it vary by brand? By user segment?
  • Which social networks show the most growth-oriented activity? Which segments show signs of losing interest or withdrawing?
  • Are Apple’s retail shoppers already the Apple-faithful or is Apple drawing in the unconverted? Who are these shoppers?
  • Who are the biggest tech spenders? Which segments spend the most and least for devices? How does spending for tech services differ?
  • iPhone users – who are they really? How do they compare with Android users?
  • Which segments are keeping their files, calendars, or other information synchronized or backed up online?
  • Primacy – what is the center of the user’s world? Their home PC, work PC, mobile phone? Is it one device or many?

If solid answers to any of these questions would help your work in creating the future, please contact MetaFacts.

MetaFacts, Inc. helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers. This is all done using standard market research survey methodologies that do not use or share any personally identifiable information. All results are gathered with the clear and simple permission of survey respondents.

Current subscribers of Technology User Profile may obtain this information directly from MetaFacts, as well as additional customized drilling down into the full datasets.

For more information on the results delivered in TUP and about how to subscribe, please contact MetaFacts.

The above questions are answered with the TUP 2012 edition, and most are also answered in many other TUP editions for ready trend comparison.

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Filed under Consumer research, Households, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Statistics, Tech Market, Trends, TUP 2012, TUP 2013, TUP 2014, TUP 2015, TUP 2016, TUP 2017