Getting Things Done – The Primary Device from PCs to Smartphones [TUPdate]

Getting things done. Isn’t it one of the main explanations we offer when we’re buying our tech devices?

While much of actual tech device usage is about entertainment, communication, and shopping, productivity has its solid place in everyday use.

Whether using a PC, Smartphone, Tablet, or some combination, the majority of connected adults turn to their devices for everything from scheduling appointments to calling on a voice assistant. Based on our Technology User Profile 2017 US survey wave, 88% of Connected Adults regularly use one of their connected devices for any of a range of productivity activities.

Mobility is the Key to Productivity Activities

Having one’s device handy is key for the productivity-oriented. The majority of productivity activities are regularly done using a mobile device – a Notebook, Tablet, or Mobile Phone. This focus on mobility has remained relatively constant over the last few years, representing over two-thirds of the primary productivity devices.

PCs as Dominant Device Type for Productivity

Americans use a PC of some kind for most of their productivity activities. This majority position has withered over the last two years, declining slightly from 54% and 55% of adults to the 51% mark in 2017.
During that same time period, more adults have made the switch from Basic cell phones to Smartphones. This has helped Mobile Phones to increase their share as the favored productivity device, rising to second-place with 41% of adults.

Smartphone surpass Desktops as preference for productivity

Diving more deeply into the TUP data, and looking at connected devices in a more detailed view, Smartphones emerge as the major productivity device. Even looking at Desktops versus Smartphones by combining Tower Desktops with All-in-One Desktops, the year 2017 marks the first time that Smartphones outnumber Desktops as the preferred Productivity device. In 2016, TUP showed that 37% of the primary productivity devices are Desktops to 34% for Smartphones. In 2017, this shifted to 33% Desktops and 39% Smartphones.
Voice Assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, are one of the major productivity activities which have grown in usage, especially on Smartphones. For those users who primarily use a Smartphone for most of their productivity, 57% use a Voice Assistant at least monthly, a level which is 44% higher than the national average. They’re also 30% or more higher than average to be using their Smartphone to manage tasks/to-do items, their personal or work calendar, store their contacts, and to save and play voice memos.
Notebooks, on the other hand, are making a gradual retreat as the productivity device of choice. These still stand out, however, for being above average for certain activities among those who favor their notebooks for productivity. Several productivity activities which are done on notebooks at 25% or more above average: collaborating on work or personal files, finances/accounting, write/manage text/notes/documents, download/use/update anti-virus/security software, and ad blocking software. Yes, the productivity-oriented are more likely than average to block ads and get back to work.
For productivity-primary desktop PCs, however, only two productivity activities stand out above average in their regular use: download/use/update anti-virus/security software, and ad blocking software. Although these two activities do reduce interruptions, they aren’t particularly productive. This indicates that Desktops are likely to continue their slide from primacy for productivity. They’ll either be consigned to other types of activities, or be overtaken by notebooks or tablets.

Looking ahead

Although habits change slowly, they do change. Even as users move between multiple devices, it takes time for them to migrate their behaviors from one way of doing things to another. Apps that have versions that support platforms can ease the user’s migration between devices. By simultaneously supporting multiple platforms, app makes can also make it easier for users to get things done among their own collection of devices, further supporting user’s own choices.

About this TUPdate

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary of recent MetaFacts TUP (Technology User Profile) research results. These results are based on results of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile survey, from 2015 through 2017, its 35th consecutive wave. Comparable results are available through TUP fielded in Europe and Asia. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis.

Pocket full of fun – Entertainment Activities [MetaFAQs]

Which is more fun – the one-trick-pony device that does one fun thing well, or the device you can use for many types of entertainment?

In India, the most-preferred connected device for fun is a Smartphone or Basic feature phone. Connected adults in India find more ways than those in other countries to entertain themselves with their Mobile Phones. Their breadth of entertainment activities is greater than with their PCs or Tablets.

This is based on our most recent wave of research – the MetaFacts TUP/Technology User Profile 2017 edition.

Unlike Connected Adults around the world in other countries, in India, Smartphones are used for a unique set of Entertainment Activities.

Well more than half of India’s Connected Adults use their Smartphones for music and movies. Watching videos/movies and listening to music on one’s Smartphone are regular activities at more than a third higher share of Connected Adults.

In contrast, when Germans use their connected devices for Entertainment Activities, they prefer their PCs. And when they use their PCs for Entertainment, most Germans use a PC to play a game (39% of Connected Adults), Hobbies (38%), and to watch videos/movies (37%). Very practical, those Germans, to use the larger screens of PCs.

Tablets have yet to make their way as being the most-entertaining connected device. Although Tablets are growing in regular use throughout the world, only in the U.S. and U.K. do they account for more than one-tenth of the preferred entertainment device.

Looking ahead

Entertainment continues to remain one of the reasons why people use connected devices. As both wired and wireless networks continue to expand their speed, this has made for more enjoyable experiences, especially for bandwidth-hogging activities such as watching movies or television. Similarly, as wireless carriers such as T-Mobile in the U.S. have removed or reduced data caps, this has reduced barriers for many customers. Consequently, these types of entertainment activities have reached a broader swath of consumers. Consumers continue to be the leading innovators in finding ways to get to the content they want, meaning they’ll consider moving beyond the devices they’re using today.

Source

This MetaFAQ is based on TUP 2017 WW table 580 ACT_ENTxCOUNTRY – Entertainment Activities by Country. This is based on our most recent research among 13,572 US adults as part of the TUP/Technology User Profile (TUP) 2017 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users.

Many other related research answers are part of the TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP Lenses with the most information about Notebook/Laptop PC use by country are the TUP PC Lens, TUP Devices Lens, and TUP User Profile Lens.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of TUP/Technology User Profile. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

How many years do consumers use their Notebook PCs? [MetaFAQs]

How many years do consumers use their Notebook PCs? Based on our MetaFacts Technology User Profile (TUP) 2017 survey, the average is 3.1 years around the world. In the US, the average is a full half year newer, at 2.6 years.MetaFacts TUP 2017 - Age of Laptops by Country

Among the world’s leading economies, Germans use their notebooks PCs for longer than Americans or Brits. Among Germans, nearly one in four (24%) of actively used notebooks were in acquired in 2012 or earlier, more than 4.5 years old. By contrast, in the US and UK, only 15% or fewer of laptops are this old.

Those who watch consumer buying patterns and recycling initiatives and actions may not be surprised at this. Americans tend towards buying new replacements for many products. Germans are known for buying goods with a focus on long-term use as well as limiting environmental impacts.

Source

This MetaFAQ is based on TUP 2017 WW table 320 NOTExCOUNTRY – Notebook PCs by Country. This is based on our most recent research among 13,572 US adults as part of the TUP/Technology User Profile 2017 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users.

Many other related research answers are part of the TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP Lenses with the most information about Notebook/Laptop PC use by country are the TUP PCs Lens, TUP User Profile Lens, and the TUP Devices Lens.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of TUP/Technology User Profile. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Inexorable Device Trends – Beyond the Niche, Fad, and Fizzle

Inexorable Device Trends – Beyond the Niche, Fad, and Fizzle – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, March 10, 2017

It can be exciting to see the hockey-stick charts, with everything up and to the right. It’s important to put the numbers into context, though, through a more grounded analysis of the active installed base. Yes, Apple’s long-climb into broader use of their triumvirate is substantial, Smartphones are quickly replacing basic cell phones, and PCs and Printers persist. Their market size confirms their importance.

We humans are wired to notice change. Our very eyes send more information about motion than background. While life-saving should tigers head our way, this capability can be our undoing if we miss gradual changes, like the slithering snake in the grass creeping towards us. Watching an installed base of technology has some parallels. For some, it can seem as if nothing is really changing even while important shifts are taking place.

For over 35 years, I have tracked technology usage trends and profiles, all calibrated by watching customers through surveys such as our Metafacts Technology User Profile. Among other truisms, I’ve seen that true technology trends aren’t sudden. Solid trends are the summation of the habits, preferences, and activities of millions of technology users. They’re inescapable, inexorable, and years in the making. Trends become truly important when they’ve spread beyond being a niche, fad, or fizzle, and reached beyond those first few early adopters.

In this analysis, I’m diving into several key broad dominant trends in technology device usage across American adults. In separate analyses, I’ll drill deeper into the next level of TUP data, revealing which market segments are making the most decisive changes. Continue reading “Inexorable Device Trends – Beyond the Niche, Fad, and Fizzle”

Device Primacy and OS – What we Hold Near (TUPdate)

Device Primacy and OS – What we Hold Near – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, January 18, 2017

Primacy. The first device you reach for, the one you stay near, the one you rely on. You might think that it’s the Smartphone, and that’s correct for many, but not all. For many activities and market segments, PCs and tablets dominate. A user’s activity focus affects which devices they choose most often, as does their operating system collection, among other factors.

Primacy by OS Family

All-Apple and all-Windows users are living in different worlds – as they have strikingly different preferences for their primary devices.
Among Apple-only users, Smartphones are the primary device for most types of activities. The PC (Mac or MacBook in this case) is their primary device for cloud storage/sharing and for search and information-related activities. Half (50%) of these adults using only Apple iOS or MacOS devices (no Microsoft Windows or Google Android or ChromeOS) do most of their cloud storage/sharing activities on a PC, and just under one-third (32%) primarily use a Smartphone.

In contrast, among Windows-only users, the PC is strongly the primary device for every major type of activity. Smartphones are only ranked second for productivity/personal and graphics/images activities. A tablet is the second choice for the greatest number of activity types – cloud storage/sharing, search/information, shopping, and social networking.metafacts-device-primacy-primary-secondary-device-2017-01-18_17-08-39

Apple’s iPad doesn’t rank as a second device for any type of activity among Apple-only users. This low level of primacy may seem surprising given that penetration of iPads is higher than average among this Apple-loyal segment. Sixty-one percent of Apple-only users regularly use an Apple iPad, more than double the national rate of 29%. This primacy analysis doesn’t mean Apple-only users aren’t enjoying their iPads – simply that they’re lower on the list of devices they choose for a wide range of activities.

Devices and Primacy
metafacts-device-primary-summary-170113
Across the entire base of connected adults, the PC is the leader for nearly every type of activity. The Swiss Army Knife broad nature of PCs continues its appeal. Smartphones only lead PCs for communications and graphics/imaging activities. Many of the specific activities in these two categories are strongly mobile – making phone calls, staying in touch, and taking and sharing photos.

OS Family

Connected Devices are dominated by three operating systems families – Microsoft Windows, Apple’s MacOS and iOS, and Google’s Android and Chrome OS. The base of Windows, once exclusively dominant, is well-overlapped by Apple and Google. The majority of users are living a multi-OS lifestyle, juggling more than OS family. The two largest OS combinations are nearly equal in market size. Just over one-fourth (26%) of users use connected devices running Windows and Google, and none with an Apple OS. Another fourth (25%) have Windows and Apple devices, with none as Google.metafacts-device-primacy-2017-01-12_16-25-15

Profile highlights of OS Family groups

It might be assumed that Apple-only users are early adopters while Windows-only users are laggards, partly explaining why they might choose different devices as primary or secondary. This is only partly true. The Windows-only users do include many tech laggards and the late majority, with 38% being the last of their age group to have first used a PC, mobile phone, or tablet. However, the Apple-only users aren’t especially early adopters, as 32% meet that definition, which is slightly less than the 33% nationwide who also do. There are other characteristics that set them apart.
Windows-only users are the oldest of the major OS family groups, on average 10 years older than every other group. They also include the smallest share of full-time employees, highest share of low-income households, and lowest average number of devices.metafacts-device-primacy-user-profile-highlights-by-os
Apple-only users have the highest share of younger millennials, have relatively high incomes, although are middling with respect to tech early adopters and laggards.
The jugglers of all three OS are the youngest, high incomes, more devices in use, and have the highest share of tech early adopters.

Activity types, primacy, ages and tech spending

Primacy of device by activity also varies with respect to the user’s age and consumer tech spending on devices and services. Younger adults aren’t necessarily the biggest tech spenders, nor are Smartphone users. In fact, those who primarily use their PCs for social networking or image/graphics activities are the biggest tech spenders and older than those who mostly use Smartphones for those activities.metafacts-device-primacy-age-device-spend-2017-01-18_12-36-08

The average age of adults who use a PC for the majority of their image/graphics activities – from managing photos to creating presentations – is 44, nearly five years older than those whose primary image/graphics device is a Smartphone. The graphics PC group also spends more than $1,450 per year more than Smartphone-focused users. Similarly, PC-focused Social Networkers are more than 8 years older and spend $730 more per year on consumer tech devices and services than their Smartphone counterparts.

Looking ahead

We expect tablets to continue to languish as a minor device for most users and most activity categories. As more 2-in-1 and convertible notebooks emerge and grow in acceptance, they will continue to relegate tablets to secondary or tertiary use.
Smartphones will continue their market penetration, replacing the basic cell phone among the last stalwart holdouts. Whether the last new Smartphone adopters will choose to go with Android or Apple Smartphones will set them on a course strongly affecting their next PC and tablet purchase. It’s most likely they will choose Google Android since this segment is more price-sensitive and less tech-savvy than average.
PCs will continue their gradual decline from primacy, to be replaced by Smartphones. Within PCs, there will be a broader division between the activity profiles for desktop and mobile PCs. We expect desktop PCs to continue their broad primary and secondary use, due to inertia and the as yet unmatched broad capabilities of PCs. Mobile PCs, however, while pressuring tablets, will themselves feel the strongest pressure from Smartphones as their broad usefulness continues to expand.

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). 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. This TUPdate is based on the TUP Life Stage section, which is within the TUP 2016 User Profile Chapter.