Tag Archives: Myth

Myth or Fact? Smartphones have replaced PCs

“Smartphones have replaced PCs”

Is it a myth or is it reality?

The tech industry gets a lot of its juice from myths. After all, creating a future can rely on science fiction and imagination when there isn’t any better information.

However, when things aren’t moving as quickly as hoped or seeming as certain as during the early ’80’s or late 90’s, then it’s worth it to check the myths to see how far along they are towards reality.

One decades-old story features handheld, wearable, or tablet technology that displaces and replace desktop and notebook PCs. Today, the closest thing to that vision is the Smartphone, from the venerable RIM Blackberry to Apple’s iPhone and the flock of Android, Symbian, and Windows-based mobile phones.

While the ever-enthusiastic band of designers, engineers, early adopters and fanboys will describe, ad perpetuam, the many capabilities available in the newest smartphones, what actual users end up actually using often falls short of what is possible. It’s the gap between the possible and the reality where the seriously interested can understand when and how which segment of the market will and won’t adopt technology.

True veterans of the technology industry have seen many grand castles in the air fade into the mist.

Based on our latest waves of Technology User Profile surveys, it’s too early to declare the PC dead. In fact, at present, PCs are more engrained in American’s everyday lives than ever.

The MetaFacts: At present, Smartphone users use more PCs than other adults, and they PCs they use, they use for more activities than other adults (including communication activities)

The MetaFacts: A higher share of Smartphone users say their computer is even more useful than in the previous year.

The MetaFacts: One in four Smartphone users feel their current computer is outdated, and this is the same percentage among users of Basic Mobile Phones.

So, even though Smartphones are increasingly getting closer to the capabilities of PCs, based on how people actually use their Smartphones, it’s too early to declare that this particular myth “Smartphones have replaced PCs” as a reality.

Further Resources

This particular TUPdate draws on the recently released Technology User Profile Overview Report. Contact MetaFacts for more information.

To see other coverage of communication – from cell phones to PC with social networking, chat and webcams – see the other communication-oriented questions TUP covers.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, 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, 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 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. For more information about the syndicated research service, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, MetaFAQs, Mobile Phones, Tech Market, Technology User Overview Report, Trends, TUP 2010

Why a cybercafé survey might fool you

News flash: even more recent updates to this information are available to subscribers to the full Technology User Profile service, the TUP Overview Report, and other TUP Profile Reports.

Apple has been a persistent genius in leading market perception. Watch a Hollywood movie, and if a computer is being shown, chances are good that Apple’s product placement experts will have made sure the Apple logo or product is prominent.

Similarly, Apple has a higher share among computers being used in public places, which might lead a casual café observer to expect Apple is the dominant brand. Nearly twice as many Apple Home PCs are used in public places than Windows Home PCs. This is due in part to the larger share of Apple Home PCs that are mobile than Windows PCs. Taking this into account, Apple’s share of public mobile Home PCs is 14%, much higher than Apple’s 8% share of mobile Home PCs. Also, Apple’s notebook users are more mobile than Windows notebook & tablet users, using their mobile computers regularly in 4.0 locations on average, compared with 2.8 locations for Windows mobile PC users.

Locations Where Apple and Non-Apple Home Computers are Used - Apple Profile Report 2008

Locations Where Apple and Non-Apple Home Computers are Used – Apple Profile Report 2008

However, just because a higher share of Apple’s computers are used in public places, it doesn’t mean that Apple has the dominant share of public or notebook PCs. In cybercafés and coffee shops, Apple ranks number two with 18% of the installed base of Home PCs being used in these locations.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, Market Segmentation, TUP 2008, TUPdate

Mobility doesn’t always mean mobile use

It may come as a surprise to many PC makers and users that mobile PCs aren’t all that mobile in actual use. Three in seven (43%) are regularly used in only one location. That is, they act literally as a desktop replacement, not for their portability. Understanding that many American consumers like to have more technology than they need, it’s understandable that they would pay a portability premium, almost as insurance. That actual portability isn’t a main use of mobile PCs may also be a surprise to those expecting or touting a wholesale migration to netbooks. This product class, a third generation of ultralight, lower-cost, ultraportable or diskless PCs has been marginalized over the last three decades. Historically, these products have fallen into a niche gap by having less functionality that general-purpose users want, and simultaneously having more weight, cost, or inconvenience than single-purpose products. This latest netbook design label has yet another challenge ahead until the wireless infrastructure is more fully built out.

One-quarter (26%) of mobile PCs users are relatively mobile, regularly using their mobile PCs in two or three locations, most often between home and the workplace.

One-third (32%) of mobile PCs are used in four or more locations. These range from multiple locations within the home – living room, home office, adult’s bedroom, or kitchen – to workplaces, hotels, planes & trains, and coffee shops such as Starbucks.

# of Locations Mobile PCS are Used - Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

# of Locations Mobile PCS are Used – Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

   The Mobile PC Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website – MetaFacts.com

Other findings in the Mobile PC Profile Report include:

Brand Shares of Mobile & Desktop PCs
Mobile PC Brands by Year Acquired
Market Segments and Mobile PC Brands
Operating Systems & Mobility
Operating Systems on Mobile PCs – Pre-installed or Aftermarket?
Operating Systems by Mobile PC Brand
User Age and Mobile Computing
User Age and Mobile PC Brand
User Gender and Mobile PC Brand
Age within Gender of Primary Computer User and Mobile PC Brand
Number of Locations by Gender and Age
Employment Status and Mobile Computing
Employment Status and Mobile PC Brands
Market Segment by Mobile PC Brand
Big & Small Companies and PC Mobility
Educational Level and Mobile PC Brand
Household Income by Mobile PC Brand
Age of Kids and Mobility of PC
Mobility Doesn’t Always Mean Mobile Use
Locations for Mobile PCs
Public PC Locations by Mobile PC Brand
Mobile PC Brand by Number of Locations Used
Mobile PC Users and the Total Number of PCs Used
Mobile PC Brand by Number of PCs Regularly Used
PC Purchase Year by Mobility
New versus Used/Refurbished by Mobile PC Brand
Hours of Use by Mobile PC Brand
Busy Mobile PCs and Mobile PC Brands
Activities and Mobility
Major Activities Point Out that Mobile PC Brands Vary
Tech Attitude Gap between Mobile PC and Desktop Users
Tech Attitudes by Mobile PC Brand
Brand Loyalty by Mobile PC Brand
Scanners by Mobile PC Brand
Docking Solutions by Mobile PC Brand
Firewire Usage by Mobile PC Brand
Sony Mobile PC Users Shop at a Broader Selection of Outlets
Which Mobile PC Users Frequent which Online and Retail Outlets
Retail Purchase Channels & Outlets by Mobile PC Brand
Online Purchase Channels & Outlets by Mobile PC Brand

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, 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 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.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008