News, Sports, and Weather-For All Ages Not All Devices [MetaFAQs]

About MetaFAQs

MetaFAQs are answers to frequently asked questions about technology users. They are drawn from the MetaFacts TUP/Technology User Profile datasets, the latest research developed through surveys. TUP/Technology User Profile 2020 is in its 38th continuous year.

Current subscribers to TUP may request answers like these through their inquiry service, the online interactive tool, or the TUP datasets. This gives the ability to drill down more deeply into other segments, services, or products.

On request, interested research professionals can receive complimentary updates through our periodic newsletter. These include MetaFAQs – brief answers to frequently asked questions – or TUPdates – analysis of current topics in the technology industry. To subscribe, contact MetaFacts.

Home notebooks – stuck at home and getting things done [TUPdate]

Home mobile notebooks are popular for keeping at home

Mobile computing means much more than being able to work or play while traveling. Despite travel restrictions and worldwide stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, mobile computers reign as the most-popular home computer. Well over half (57%) of online adults use a home notebook, compared to 46% using at least one home desktop. MetaFacts surveyed online adults in six countries for the 2020 wave of TUP/Technology User Profile:  the US, UK, Germany, China, Japan, and India. Notebook use is strongest in Japan (72% of online adults) and Germany (67%), and lightest in the US (50%).

Notebook use is strongest in Japan (72% of online adults) and Germany (67%), and lightest in the US (50%). In fact, the majority of home notebook computers have historically stayed at home. Many users choose notebook computers over desktops so they can take it with them in case they travel, for school, or if they may decide to bring it along to a coffee shop or library. However, the most mobility many notebooks may ever see is the trip from the kitchen to the living room.

Home notebooks get newer

Online adults around the world are using a notebook that is less than three years old on average. Apple has recently released updated Apple MacBooks and they are starting to get into the hands of users to update the installed base. Some users keep their notebooks longer than others. In Japan and Germany, online adults are actively using MacBooks for an average of 3 years (Japan) and 2.7 years (Germany). In contrast, online users in China and Japan are using newer home notebooks.

Google Chromebooks have the lowest age of home notebooks in the active installed base. This is primarily because the market has been slow to adopt Chromebooks. Some users are Google-averse or are not using other Google service such as Google drive that could offer them some benefits of using a Chromebook. Other users prefer more feature-rich notebooks. Yet other users simply prefer Apple MacBooks.

Home notebooks are well-used

Home notebooks are used for a wide range of activities, from everyday web browsing to focused activities such as online banking and shopping.

It could be argued that with the Internet and a browser, notebooks are not fundamentally different whether they are running Windows, Apple, or Chrome OS. However, users do not see it that way, as shown in the bottom line of how they use their home notebooks.

Chromebooks, the most basic of notebooks, are being used for a narrower breadth of activities than either MacBooks or Windows notebooks. Fewer Chromebook users do the same activities other home notebook users regularly do. The relatively strongest activity among Chromebook users is shopping (36% versus 38% overall) and searching on health topics (30% versus 33% overall).

Part of these usage differences say more about the types of customers attracted to a Chromebook than about the hardware or operating system. In broad socioeconomic terms, Chromebooks are used by adults in lower socioeconomic groups, Windows used throughout all strata, and Apple used primarily by upper socioeconomic groups.

MacBooks are also not used for as wide a range of activities as Windows home notebooks. However, several activities are strongest among home MacBook users. With Apple’s tightly coupled ecosystem with iPhones such as with Handoff, text messaging and phone calls rank higher than on Windows or Chromebooks. Also, managing home security/climate/lighting is stronger among MacBook users, although likely because of the stronger tech profile of its users and less so about only using Apple’s HomeKit.

Home Windows notebooks are used the most broadly. More Windows notebook users use their notebooks more than MacBook or Chromebook users for all the major activities except one – cloud storage of personal files.

Looking ahead

Home notebooks will continue to be a mainstay for home technology devices for the foreseeable future. Although smartphones have started to be used for several activities, particularly for communication, they have far to go before fully replacing notebooks. Similarly, while online adults with tablets are using them for many of the same activities, tablet penetration still lags far behind notebook use.

About this TUPdate

The information referred to in this TUPdate is based on the results gathered in TUP/Technology User Profile 2020, its 38th annual wave, and based on surveys of online adults in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, China, and India.

Current subscribers to TUP/Technology User Profile will be receiving a full report on notebooks, desktops, who is using them, and how they are being used as part of TUP and its PC chapter. Also, clients with inquiry privileges may request more detailed analysis into their own choice of market segments, technology products and services.

To learn about subscribing to TUP/Technology User Profile, contact MetaFacts.

The Most Creative – PCs or Smartphones? (TUPdate)

The Most Creative – PCs or Smartphones? – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, February 9, 2017

Creativity eludes definition, yet we know and admire it when we see or feel it. Well beyond simple clicks, creative activities greatly add to the collective oeuvre while also giving voice to expression.

It might well be argued that creativity is shown in the clever use of hashtags, emojis, or Snapchat video filters. I’m choosing to identify creativity broadly and practically – how the most-creative, most-involved tech activities get done. Activities such as creating presentations and videos require forethought and a blending of skills. Some activities such as taking photographs are now so widely commonplace that the activity spans the professional photographer to the budding amateur. So, for this analysis, I’m considering this a moderately-creative activity.metafacts-td1702-creatives-diagram-2017-02-09_13-27-42

From our most recent TUP (Technology User Profile) survey, I chose six core activities as being more creative than the many other everyday activities we track by device and user.

I drilled down into the TUP data to see what differences there may be by device type – PCs versus Smartphones. When it comes to creative activities, there are differences.

Which devices have the most users doing creative activities?

Creative activities are strongest where the tools are richest. Ask any oil painter if they benefit by having ready canvases, easels, paints, and lighting. Continue reading “The Most Creative – PCs or Smartphones? (TUPdate)”

Smartphones challenge Mobile PCs – the users speak

A TUPdate from MetaFacts by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

You can’t go out for coffee these days without sharing space with legions of dedicated smartphone users doing everything from texting their friends to checking the latest NFL or soccer scores. With smartphone functionality and the number of available apps increasing at hyper speed, could this trend foreshadow the decline of the mobile computer and relegate all those laptops, netbooks and tablets to the land of the Atari? Will Apple iPhones, RIM Blackberries, Winphones or the Android-powered grab the fingers of the most-mobile among us?  Our new MetaFacts Technology User Profile, 2009 Global Insights Edition polled over 22,000+ online PC adults in 10 developed countries and found some surprising answers.

Why is this important?

Makers of mobile computers, smartphone manufacturers, wireless carriers and application developers should all be watching these trends closely both from an R&D standpoint and a marketing perspective. OEMs of desktop computers should also take heed if more and more users opt for portables even if they don’t use them in more than one location.

First let’s look at who’s using mobile PCs these days and where they are using them. Not surprisingly, this is a younger group overall. The average age of online adult mobile PC users is nearly seven years younger than the average desktop user. Nearly a third of the mobile computer users are in the college age to early career category of 18-34 year olds.

Just where are mobile PCs being used? The age of the user is also a factor here. The younger users are, the more likely they were to report using their mobile computers in four or more locations, a finding that is likely reflective of the more mobile lifestyle of this segment.

But desktop and mobile PC manufacturers take notice: Nearly half of mobile PCs are used in only one location. This begs the question of why these homebody mobiles are stuck in their desk job. If this trend continues, will the pendulum swing away from netbooks and ever-lighter notebook PCs back to full-featured desktop replacements?

And the mobile PCs seem to be working harder than desktops. The portables are logging more hours than their desktop cousins with nearly 25% being used for 40 or more hours per week versus 18% of desktops being used that much.

So what are these mobile computer users doing with their portables? While their activities are generally the same as those performed on their desktops, the survey showed that mobile PCs which are used in multiple locations appeared to be much more integrated into the user’s life. These younger multiple-location PC users reported performing nearly double the number of activities on their mobile PCs than the group reporting that their mobile PCs remained tethered to one location.

The more years people use computers, the more activities they add to their list of things to do with their machines. PC Veterans, people who have used computers over a quarter of their lives, use their mobile PCs for more activities than PC Newbies, regardless of their age. Not surprisingly, users in the 18-24 age category use their mobile PCs more often for entertainment and communication than older mobile computer users.

Now let’s turn to the role that cell phones play in the mobile PC world. With the ever-increasing functionality of phones, is the choice of mobile connectivity an either/or when it comes using mobile computers and smartphones? Our survey showed quite the opposite. Even the savviest of smartphone users are not likely to give up their mobile computers. Interestingly, the adults who reported using the most functionality on their phones also reported using their mobile PCs in more locations, nearly twice the number of those who used their mobile phones only as basic phones. Bottom line: When it comes to the question of whether to take the smartphone or the mobile PC to the cybercafé, the current answer is often “both.”

If today’s mobile PCs could talk, they might paraphrase Mark Twain’s famous quote, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Further Resources

MetaFacts Technology User Profile – 2009 Global Insights Edition – a syndicated survey of 30,889 representative respondents in 16 countries

MetaFacts Technology User Profile – 2009 Global Insights Edition – Developed Economies – a syndicated survey of 22,072 representative respondents in 10 countries

MetaFacts Mobile PC Brand Profile Report – analysis of the mobile market based on results in MetaFacts Technology User Profile 2008 Annual Edition – a syndicated survey of over 10,000 representative respondents in the U.S.

About this TUPdate

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 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 https://metafacts.com/contact-metafacts/ 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.

Email is the most frequent activity of users on all primary home PCs

What’s the most popular activity which is starting to lose its power?

The main activity for all primary home PC users is sending or receiving email.

Households with older versions of Windows are different in their activities from other OS users. Users of older Window OS’s second-most frequent activity is searching the Internet on other issues, instead of for news, like other OS users. Users of older Windows PCs’ sixth activity is searching on health issues.

The two largest rank differences for users of older Windows OS’s are in personal/household activities (recipes, home design, etc.) and listening to music CDs or MP3s. Personal activities rank higher (9) for older Windows OS’s than other OS users, especially higher than Vista (21) and Apple (22) users. Users of older Window OS’s frequency of activity for listening to music CDs or MP3 was, at 24, well below Apple users at 9, and 13 for both Vista and XP users.

Vista and XP users ranked their highest 10 activities very similarly. There is a difference in the 6th and 7th ranking, but otherwise they share the same order of activities.

Apple users are similar to Vista and XP users for the first 5 activities. They begin to differentiate afterwards. Apple users have a higher ranking than Vista and XP users for working with text (6 vs. 10) and listening to music CDs or MP3s (9 vs. 13).

Ranking of PC/Online Activities for Primary PC Users - Home Operating Systems Profile Report
Ranking of PC/Online Activities for Primary PC Users – Home Operating Systems Profile Report

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 for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

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.

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