The COVID-19 pandemic, and its effects on consumers around the world have helped Google Chromebooks to start to make a small dent in the active installed base after years of experimentation and effort. Parents are one bright spot for the slowly-adopted products, as they have sought support for remote work and to help with schooling at home.
Google Chromebooks have been on the market since 2013 and have only recently started to make much headway into the Windows and Apple-dominated PC market. Despite Chromebook’s generally lower prices, consumers have continued to choose other products. With recent Chromebook models having more horsepower and features than the earliest models, and after aggressive marketing by Google especially into educational markets, the products have eased into the consideration set. Many buyers distrustful of Google’s market dominance, advertising, and its handling of data privacy have stayed away from Google-linked products. Broad use of Android smartphones have moved some buyers into the ecosystem, at least in part.
Mid-2020 high demand and some supply disruptions of Windows and Apple notebooks drove some buyers – parents and work-at-home adults – to consider Google Chromebooks. It remains to be seen if this recent uptick is a blip in the product’s long road to market acceptance.
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By Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, April 24, 2020
Busy parents are busier than ever
Parents are busier than ever with the many stay at home conditions and school closures across the US now.
Two days ago (April 22, 2020), we surveyed 322 online adults with children 18 or younger. We asked them about the computing devices in their homes, how they share them, what they plan to buy in the next few months, and how an additional home PC might affect their home.
Most parents say they have enough computing devices at home. Nearly two-thirds (61%) have as many or more PCs or tablets than people. Many parents said an additional personal PC is not really wanted, as most (35%) say it would make no difference and feel they have enough (12%).
Those few who would welcome a new home computer value several benefits. One-sixth (16%) expect more efficiency – getting more done with less effort, whether it is more schoolwork or for work from home. Almost as many (14%) expect they would have to share the PCs they have less often. They predict there would be fewer fights between their children. (and who wouldn’t appreciate that!).
Yours, mine, and mine
With the many PCs they have in their home, we asked how and if they share them amongst themselves.
More than half (55%) share PCs, with higher priority given to schoolwork (34%) and working from home (25%). Another half (48%) do not regularly share PCs.
Busiest Road Warriors want to Text or Email While Driving – MetaFacts
October 2012 update – TUP 2012 results showing distracted drivers holding steady at nine percent.Calling the Shots While Driving the Wagon: Renegades say they should be allowed to text or email while driving
A MetaFacts TUPDate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst
When you change lanes on the highway, you hope that the guy next to you isn’t a distracted driver looking at his smartphone instead of at the road. Ninety percent of the time, you’d be fine. On the other hand, a recent MetaFacts Technology User Profile survey showed 9% of online Americans agree or strongly agree with this statement: “I should be allowed to text or email while I am driving a car.” Nine percent isn’t 100%, but considering the concentration of people on the road in any ordinary rush hour, that 9% adds up to a lot of road risk.
Who are these renegades? It seems they have a few commonalities, ranging from age, state, and parental status to privacy attitudes. Eighteen percent of 18 to 24-year olds surveyed felt that they should be allowed to text and email while driving, and the concentration of renegades indeed appears to be in the young-uns: that 18% is double the national average. The 25 to 34-year-old group come in second, with 16% wanting to multitask in their vehicles, followed only slightly more slowly by the 35-44 age bracket with 10%. After that, percentages drop down to 5% and lower in older age groups—it seems that most of these rebels get hit with a dose of safety-juice by the time they hit their mid-forties.
Yet, there is something these folks have in common which points to a concern for safety, even coupled with their desire to type and drive, and that is their tendency toward device-security consciousness. 71% of renegades agree: “For security, I do things such as password-protecting my phone or limiting what is stored on it,” compared to the national average of 30%. Is the line between physical safety and the safety of our information becoming blurred, or is this issue just holding the door for better voice-recognition technology?
Are these renegades simply using mobiles for texting or emailing more than average? MetaFacts survey shows the links between age and texting in general, where 18 to 24-year olds top the charts as well. That age group’s attitude about texting while driving reflects this inclination. Mobile emailers, on the other hand, are led in a close race by the 25 to 34-year-old demographic (42% of 25-34-year-olds use their mobile devices for email vs. 37% of 18-24-year-olds and 32% of 35-44-year-olds).
While age seems one of the main things renegades have in common, gender does not appear to be a significant factor in who texts and drives; only slightly fewer women than men surveyed wanted to use their keypad en route (7% and 11%, respectively). But be they men or women, what might tie these people together is a hunger for better, more streamlined technology.
Judging from the types of phones renegades use, it seems their thirst for new technology may be comparable to their need for untimely texting and emailing. 21% of Android users are renegades, followed close behind by 20% of Apple iPhone users and 16% of Blackberry users. This tech-heavy crowd might just be waiting for the right technology to help them send an email in the car, without having to type it out the old-fashioned way.
Clearly, this scary finding implies a need for a shift in the world of smartphones, and mobile companies should take note. While safety-inducing apps exist to render texting and emailing applications defunct while operating a vehicle, they tend to be geared toward the protective parenting set, which make them seem unlikely that they would appeal to the renegade mindset. In that case, better voice-recognition technology ought to be on the forefront of this issue. Some of this technology is already in place, and the renegade wordsmiths on the roads today seem likely to keep up their bad behavior, favoring accessibility and convenience over safety.
This seems as much an issue for marketing as R&D. The demand for voice-activated texting and email for this niche of rebels, with their busy lifestyles and need for constant quick communication, may lie more in the convenience and speed of the new technology rather than its image as a safety feature.
MetaFacts expects the first early adopters for this technology to include several unique and dissimilar segments: ultra-mobile road warriors, tech-savvy soccer moms, hyperactive smartphone users, Twitter addicts, certain ethnic groups, particularly in states enforcing distracted-driver laws. With that as the case, these texting renegades may be leading voice-activated texting and email out of the periphery so that it can, so to speak, take the wheel.
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Forget recipes and menu management-Americans don’t keep their PCs in the kitchen. Basically, if they have one at home, they are very likely to have a home office-or make a corner of the bedroom serve that purpose. But however they’re laid out, it’s clear that American home offices represent a huge market. Meanwhile, road warrioring is a niche practice as far as home PC users are concerned. As for cybercafés, it appears that PC users are more likely to go there for the coffee.
These and other insights are derived from the latest research carried out by MetaFacts, Inc., and involved responses from 10,418 households. Respondents were asked where they used their family computer, their workplace computer, and their self-employed computer.
This is important because which room of the house home computers are used in can influence everything from their color, shape, size and overall industrial design to the peripherals and entertainment devices they might be connected to. It also helps more clearly define the market potential for wireless networks and consumer electronics that could interact to share music, video, graphics within the household yet not only within the same room.
Unsurprisingly, 98.8 percent of family PCs saw use in the home-but what’s probably more interesting is that the installed base amounts to 118.9 million machines. Of these, 41.5 percent are situated in a home office, representing a staggering 56.8 million machines. As for the rest of the home PCs, 18.8 percent in the living room, 16.8 percent in the bedroom, 25 percent in some other room (den, anyone?), and only 4.5 percent in the kitchen. Data and carrots evidently just don’t mix.
When examined in relationship to other factors, it appears that having a broadband internet connection in the home raised the incidence of a home office to 49 percent, mostly at the expense of the bedroom and other-room PCs. Only 33.1 percent of households with incomes under $50,000 yearly reported using PCs in a home office. Probably because more pressing uses could be found for a given room, the presence of children in the home also kept the rate of home offices down, although not as much as income levels.
But regardless of what room it was in, the home PC tended to stay at home. Less than one percent of the respondents reported using their home PCs in a car or other transportation, or in a hotel. But the use of workplace PCs in those settings was in the 4-5 percent range. Both home and workplace PCs were used in libraries at a rate between one and two percent, and both saw less than one percent use in coffee shops and copy shops, indicating these venues are likely to remain niche uses. As for cybercafés, they don’t seem to be becoming part of the landscape for PC users. The use for workplace machines in cybercafés among those using a home-owned, employer-owned or self-employment owned computer rose from .1 percent last year to .6 percent this year, but the rate for home PCs fell from .3 to .1 percent.
Publicly shared computers – such as in libraries, cybercafés, churches and kiosks – are mostly among those already with access to a computer. Based on the screener for Technology User Profile 2004 with 32,130 respondents, 25.1% of households with a user of one of these public computers don’t have access to a computer at home, their workplace or through self-employment. The majority – 74.9% – already have access elsewhere.
Incidentally, about 13.4 percent of workplace PCs saw use in the home. About half of these ended up in the home office and the rest in other rooms-although in this case the kitchen proved more popular than the bedroom. Evidently, people these days take work home in their laptops instead of their briefcases. Employers who have not come to terms with the fact need to wake up and smell the coffee-like the 2.1 percent of their machines that are being used in the kitchen.
Another 13.6 million machines were reported in use by the self-employed. Their rate of having home offices-36 percent-was a little lower than the home PC rate, but some of their workplace PCs were likely to have been in rooms that anyone else would call a home office. Interestingly, self-employed PCs saw more use on the road and in public places than home or workplace PCs, and that might represent an untapped niche for marketers.
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