Tag Archives: Security

Are Rental PCs a Clue to the Next Big Thing in Technology?

Rent to Own-Storefront look familiar?

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

Consumers continue to shape the future of technology with their pocketbooks, whether by outright purchase or payment plans. PC renting is not currently widespread among most U.S. consumers, with only 1% of American online adults using a rented home PC. If considered much at all by the digerati, it is considered passé or fringe.

However, looking ahead, consumer usage patterns are trending towards the pay-as-you-go or the ad-supported model, and with a new definition of PCs and devices as the preferred platform(s): whether called Smartphone, Laptop, Tablet, Netbook, Mobile, or otherwise.

Today’s PC rental business might be called opportunistic, socially beneficial, or predatory, depending on your perspective. Americans renting PCs skew towards younger adults – particularly those PC Newbies who have used a PC less than a quarter of their life – as well as skewing towards adults not employed full-time. Also, evidently, PC renting is biased towards people of color: with rental rates higher among adults who identify with a racial/ethnic group other than White/Non-Hispanic.

Interestingly, these same segments are stronger than average in their use of Smartphones or Basic Mobile Phones as their primary or only browsing, email, and Twitter platforms, as well as the broadening use of prepaid cellular plans. This signals that these consumer segments are likely the earliest adopters of new financial models – not the mythical early adopters stereotypically portrayed as affluent, highly-educated youngsters.

Recently, attention on the rental PC business has increased due to the controversial practices of some rental retailers. The major furniture rental chain Aaron’s was named in a federal lawsuit. Some rental companies, allegedly including some Aaron’s outlets or franchisees, have protected their equipment through the use of remotely activated webcams or tracking software, to the consternation of unwitting renters. Privacy and security issues are looming as important factors following large breaches spanning credit cards, health records, Sony PlayStations, passwords and WikiLeaks documents, only to name a few.

The pay-as-you-go approach has done well for the cable TV and wireless phone businesses, if not for PC manufacturers or PDA makers. Wireless carrier subsidies are increasingly driving the decisions of consumer technology manufacturers, a factor arguably contributing to Palm being driven from their business model prior to being acquired by Hewlett Packard.

In addition to this pay-now/pay-later balance, consumers also position platforms along the BOB-Integrated spectrum. The BOB – Best Of Breed – end of the spectrum features products which do one or few functions very well. One example is a standalone GPS device which gives directions extremely well. The other end of the spectrum: Integrated or Swiss Army Knife – features broadly functional devices which do many things adequately. An example is a Smartphone navigation app, which may not have a full function set or may be compromised due to simultaneous use for incoming messages and music or as a timepiece. Most interestingly, consumers find ways to adapt their behavior in ways that are out of synch with the intentions of the product designers, in some cases using on a fraction of a product’s capability while at other times finding new uses for products beyond their expected design.

Looking ahead, MetaFacts expects continued turmoil and changes as each segment of consumers decide their own favorite device or platform striking a balance of BOB vs. integrated, with choices being affected in part by heightened security and privacy concerns and in part by the underlying payment model.

Source

The results in this TUPdate are drawn from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Survey. In our most recent wave of Technology User Profile, we surveyed American adults about their use of mobile phones, technology attitudes, and many other behavioral and socioeconomic factors. Current TUP subscribers can access and drill down more deeply into this phenomenon using TUP Interactive Access or with their datasets.

We started this analysis by first looking at the answers from 8,175 U.S. respondents in the Technology User Profile service and then drilled down further into their profiles to get a more complete picture.

Contact MetaFacts to access the MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition report, which covers the broader range of key trends. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically.

These editions are for the U.S. based on the 2010 wave of Technology User Profile gathered among a scrupulously selected set of representative respondents, surveyed both online and offline.

To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities  – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other questions TUP answers on www.technologyuser.com. Tech market research professionals who want a solid resource they can use immediately after industry events such as mergers, or even use prior to anticipated events, can license direct access to TUP.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, 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 helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) 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 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. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Households, Market Research, Market Segmentation, Technology User Overview Report, Trends, TUP 2010, TUPdate

PC purchase year by mobility

Age of Installed Base Desktops vs. Mobile - Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008

Tech attitudes by mobile PC brand

Each mobile PC brand has attracted a different set of customers, not only in their socio-demographics, but also in their technology-related attitudes. While most mobile PC users hold similar attitudes, in several areas there are notable differences.

The last few years have seen a strong emergence in green marketing. When it comes to the disposal of previous computers, it’s interesting and surprising that HP has the poorest showing. Nearly four out of nine (45%) say it is difficult to find a place to dispose of a home PC, the highest rate of all mobile PC brand users. This is despite HP’s many various publicized efforts to streamline green disposal, especially with printer consumables. Apparently, there is not much of a halo effect between HP’s ubiquitous cartridge recycling self-mailers and its PCs.

The extent of refined choice is evident in the differences between how mobile PC users prefer to have the best-of-breed “BOB” versus buying a simple or convenient bundle. Sony mobile PC users have the strongest interest in getting the best electronics products or services instead of a product/service bundle, with nearly half (47%) strongly agreeing. By comparison, less than a third (31%) of Gateway users similarly agree.

Sony mobile PC users are also distinctive in their comfort with technology. They have the lowest agreement that technology products are too complicated, with only 12% strongly agreeing, while more than a third (35%) of Compaq mobile PC users confess to being overwhelmed.

Technology Attitudes Vary by Mobile PC Brand - Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

Technology Attitudes Vary by Mobile PC Brand – 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 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 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

Sneakernet lives – Carrying mobile information beyond the notebook

Sneakernet lives! Despite growing alternatives such as cloud-based storage and online apps, many busy mobile users continue to carry their key data with them.

Other products have to do with the busy user’s information – USB flash drives, other removable memory, memory card readers, and drives that can read and burn CDs or DVDs. After all, since these busy users mostly use more than one computer, having their information physically with them can be important for continuity & convenience as well as security.

MetaFacts expects continuing growth in cloud-based storage, although slow growth for explicit usage. Key deterrents include security and privacy concerns, particularly for users employed in larger enterprises. Also, in an industry in flux, consumers and business users alike have concerns about the long-term viability of any company storing their data. After all, if the company goes out of business, they might lose access without notice. Cloud-based storage as a background service, such as storage of information for web-based applications from online apps are likely to lead to usage higher than what consumers perceive as storage. They mostly think of file, document, and photo storage and backup when they report about their use of online backup and storage.

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This information is released from the Busy Mobiles Profile Report, a Technology User Profile solution from MetaFacts. It is based on recent survey-based research, reporting directly from a representative sample of actual users. The Busy Mobiles Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website – MetaFacts.com.

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.

Other findings in the MetaFacts Busy Mobiles Profile Report include:

  • How many busy Mobiles?
  • Who are these busy users?
  • The Most Busy Mobile PC Users are in Certain Occupations
  • What keeps the busiest so busy?
  • Who Owns the Busiest Mobile PCs?
  • What are the Attitudes of the Busiest?
  • What Kinds of Mobile PCs are Used the Most?
  • Locations Where the Busiest Mobile PCs are Used
  • Where the Busiest Stop to Shop
  • Electronics Used by the Busiest Mobile PC Households
  • Shopping List of the Busy Mobile PC Household

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 at www.metafacts.com 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 or www.metafacts.com

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008