Tag Archives: Trends

Apple, Google, Microsoft – Paths of Expansion and Contraction [TUPdate]

There are many ways to serve technology users, and each family of operating systems – Apple’s, Google’s, and Microsoft – have expanded in different ways. While Windows-driven products are being actively used by nearly three-fourths (73%) of U.S. online adults, Apple MacOS and iOS devices and Google Android devices are each being used by half.

This is based on the results of our TUP/Technology User Profile 2018 and 2017 surveys, with sample sizes of 14,273 and 13,572, respectively, with 7,886 in the US.

Each OS family leads in their own way. Apple has more than 10% of Americans using one of five types of devices: Smartphone, Tablet, PC (Macs), and a TV set top box and service, or watch. Google Android/Chrome OS has a different set of five types, with speakers stronger than Apple and PCs weaker than any other. Microsoft Windows only has 10% or more of Americans using one of two categories: PC or Tablet.

While market penetration is one important measure, even more telling is active device quantity. The average number of actively used devices has shifted in the US as well as in other major markets. Between 2017 and 2018, the average number of Apple devices in active use rose from 2.2 to 2.3 in the US, 2.0 to 2.1 in China, and 1.6 to 2.0 in India. Meanwhile, Windows use has declined across all markets surveyed.

Netting together the various Apple OS product categories, Apple’s footprint in the US did not change between 2017 and 2018. Growth within that base has been with a broader adoption of Apple TV. In India, Apple’s penetration has risen markedly, reaching 45% of online adults in India. Most of the growth has come from two strongly accepted products: Apple TV and Apple Watch.

Looking ahead

We’re likely to see a further fragmented world, with Apple focusing primarily on breadth and Google on initial penetration. Apple will continue to focus on deepening their relationships with their customers while Google will continue its conquest for new customers. Apple’s direction will be one of expanding services and commensurate revenue streams, serving their unique customer base more deeply. Meanwhile, Google’s direction will be mostly about supporting any devices or services that will help them expand their data acquisition and advertising businesses. Apple’s expanded emphasis on privacy and security will play well with their existing customers and more importantly may yet attract users further away from the Google ecosystem. Beyond the speeds and feeds of the latest gadget, these softer issues of privacy and security are likely to help Apple more than Google.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. In the TUP survey, we identified the connected devices being actively used, from those acquired with home/personal funds to those that are owned by employers, schools, or others. From these, we selected adults who are using at least one home PC.

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Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Mobile Phones, Multiple Devices, Smart speakers, Smartphones, Smartwatches, Tablets, TUP 2017, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Who Are The Tablet-First Pioneers? [TUPdate]

Will Tablets go mainstream, so much so that they’re the first device consumers reach for? A persistent yet small group of Americans use their Tablet more than a smartphone or PC. Are the rest missing something? Might this edge group grow?

Over the last five years, the share of connected adults using a tablet as their primary device grew and then shrunk.

This is based on results from five years of our TUP/Technology User Profile study, each wave with over 7,500 representative respondents in the US.

In our 2014 wave of TUP, we found that 5.6% of adults were using a tablet as their primary device – before a PC, mobile phone, or game console. In TUP 2016, the tablet-first rate had grown to 9.3%, or one in 11 online adults. By TUP 2018, this dropped to 7.5%, or nearer to one in 13 online adults.

What other devices do they use?

Tablet-first users may choose to first use their Tablet, yet most have other devices to choose from. Nearly two-thirds of tablet-first users (62%) regularly use a PC, and almost three-fourths (74%) regularly use a Smartphone. They have other mobile devices, such as a Notebook (35%) or Desktop (47%).

Growing Tablet Reliance Among the Stalwart Tablet-First

Most tablet-first users have more devices than their tablet – 94% have 2 or more. Seventy-five percent have 3 or more connected devices they regularly use.

Over the last three years, this number has shrunk somewhat. While in 2016 tablet-first users used an average of 4.3 connected devices, this number has dropped to 3.8.

What are these tablet-first tablets being used for?

Tablet-first users fully enjoy them. The users of Tablets as their primary device are busy with their tablets, checking email, shopping, having fun, and social networking. Over half of adults using a tablet as their primary device regularly use it for a wide range of activities. While checking personal email ranks at the top, shopping is nearly as strong.

What’s notably absent from the list of major activities are more-intensive productivity or graphical activities such as creating presentations. Most of the activities so far are more passive than actively creative.

That may seem odd to Apple-watchers, since much of the iPad’s advertising and development has featured the Apple Pencil for drawing and sketching, as well as creative video apps. Samsung has similarly touted their S-Pen for their Galaxy Tabs. It looks like the installed base hasn’t quite caught the creative bug, since these are relatively recent additions and emphases. Or, more likely, it’s harder to inspire the less-creative to start creating than it is to attract creative types.

Looking ahead

I don’t expect the tablet-first segment to grow beyond being a small group. Size is a key dimension affecting the future of tablets. As smartphones get larger, tablets will continue to be affected. The largest smartphones are encroaching on the size of the smallest tablets. Also, as companies such as Apple position tablets as computers, and those like HP and Dell create 2-in-1 and convertible designs, there’s likely to be further user confusion.

Tablet-first users are functioning well with a broad collection of devices, so it seems unlikely that one single device will capture their hearts and fingers.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. In the TUP survey, we identified the connected devices being actively used, from those acquired with home/personal funds to those that are owned by employers, schools, or others. From these, we selected adults who are using at least one home PC.

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Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Entertainment, Shopping

Favorite Device Combinations – Flexibility and Juggling [TUPdate]

Users vote with their fingers, demonstrating what they like by what they actually use. The top combination includes four devices – a desktop, notebook, tablet, or smartphone – and actively used by one in six (16%) of online adults in the US.

This is based on the three most recent waves of Technology User Profile (TUP), the 2016 through 2018 waves. These were based on 7,336, 7,521, and 7,886 US online adult representative responses, respectively.

The top four combinations are used by over half (52%) of online Americans. All of the top combinations include a smartphone, three include a desktop, and two include a tablet. These major combinations have remained the most widely used for the last three years, representing the choice of around half of online Americans for the last three years.

Elders come on board

The average age of those using tablets or PCs without smartphones has dropped in the last year. Between 2017 and 2018, the average age of those using only a tablet – and no PC or smartphone – has dropped from 50.4 years old to 45.5. Similarly, those using a desktop and tablet and no smartphone has dropped from 53.8 years to 49.4. Those using 4 types of devices – a desktop, notebook, tablet, and smartphone, average 41.4 years old, in stark contrast to those using only a desktop, at 56 years old.

Looking ahead

Despite much media attention on this device or another “taking over the world”, most American users continue to juggle multiple devices.

Although innovative crossover products continue to make splashes and inroads, from foldable phones to all-in-one and convertibles, the majority of users persist in finding ways to stay productive and entertained with their varied types of devices. It seems users are currently more flexible than their devices.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. In the TUP survey, we identified the connected devices being actively used, from those acquired with home/personal funds to those that are owned by employers, schools, or others. From these, we selected adults who are using at least one home PC.

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Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Convertibles, Desktops, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate

Digital Publication Readership – To Be Saved by Apple News+? [TUPdate]

Magazine and newspaper writers envision a world of digitally-connected readers hanging on their every word. Despite the ubiquity of connected devices, from smartphones and PCs to tablets, that’s not currently the case. Fewer than half of online adults regularly read a magazine, newspaper, or periodical using any one of these connected devices. Also, while Apple’s customers are more active digital readers than most, Apple’s News+ service is being launched into a chilling headwind. This is based on results from our TUP/Technology User Profile survey of 14,273 adults across five countries.

Only in India and China do the majority of online adults regularly use any of their devices to read periodicals. In the US, UK, and Germany, this rate is nearer to four-tenths of online adults.

Active readers are appearing to favor convenience over multi-device accessibility. Across the countries surveyed, nearly two-thirds of active digital readers do so with whichever of their devices is their primary device.

Also, it’s not as if even active readers do their reading across multiple types of devices. Instead, the net number of active readers is close to the sum of readers using their PC, tablet, or smartphone.

No single device stands out universally as the digital publication reading favorite. PCs are a favored reading device in the US, UK, and Germany. In China and India, slightly more choose smartphones over PCs.

The image of magazine readers sprawling on their couches, kicking back with their iPads to catch up on a beautifully graphical long read, only represents a small part of the market. Tablet news-reading is only done by a few. Across the five countries surveyed, only around one in ten online adults use a tablet for such reading.

Part of this single preferred-device approach may be due to the inconsistencies between publications across platforms. While some publications design for a large-screen experience, others aim for the smaller screens of a smartphone. Yet others haven’t seemed to do much aiming or development, seemingly settling with exporting PDFs of their printed pages.

Using connected devices to read subscriptions has sagged in the last year. Across all the countries surveyed, regular readership rates have dropped. The reduction has been most pronounced in India and China, dropping from 85% of online adults to 71% in India, and 65% to 53% in China.

Service such as Apple’s recently announced Apple News + may help to change that. Making subscribing easier through a simplified app and bundled price may just raise the number of active digital readers, if not also subscription rates. Because Apple’s service was launched to only run on an iOS or MacOS devices, this a subset of the entire market. However, this subset is sizable. As of mid-2018, TUP finds that Apple has 100.3 million adults in the US actively are using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, which is 46% of all online US adults. This rate is similar among online adults in China (50%), and lower in the UK (44%), India (35%), and Germany (23%).

Apple’s customers are above-active readers. Among Apple’s customers, there is a higher rate of actively reading digital publications than among the general population. Half (50%) of users of any Apple iOS or MacOS device (iPhone, iPad, or Mac) in the US regularly use a connected device to read digital publications. Across the UK, Germany, China, and India, the pattern is the same: more of Apple’s users are active digital readers.

Looking ahead

Services like Apple News+ will likely be good for Apple and moreover good for Apple’s customers. Since Apple’s customers are already above-average readers, we expect subscriptions to be strong. In addition to the revenue flow to Apple and publishers, it could help deepen the connection and loyalty Apple’s users have with its other offerings – services and devices alike.

On first glance, services like Apple News+ may not seem attractive to publishers. If they view their TAM as only around half to a quarter of online users (Apple’s current foot print is 50% in China, 46% in the US, 44% in the UK, 35% in India, and 23% in Germany) this might seem like a glass-half-empty approach. Were Apple enable Apple News+ to more platforms beyond iOS and MacOS, the next-largest active-reader platforms are Windows PCs and Android smartphones. While this would likely entice more publishers, it might threaten Apple’s exclusive experience within its platforms. Also, for these platforms, Apple may need to make extra efforts to fulfill its promise of subscriber privacy.

However, to the extent publishers consider such a service as bonus readership, this may entice them and others to join. Apple’s customer base continues to have a higher than average socioeconomic profile.

And, as Apple continues to roll out additional subscription services such as movies and TV, many customers will likely expand and deepen their connections and loyalty to Apple. Also, we expect more readers to return to reading as they discover the digital experience to be more enjoyable and straightforward.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China. In the TUP survey, we identified the connected devices being actively used, from desktop tower PCs, to all-in-one, notebook, and convertible PC form factors, to tablets, smartphones and basic feature phones. For the four devices used most often, we asked respondents to choose from among 71 activities that they do most regularly with each device.

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Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Desktops, Entertainment, Information and Search, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, Trends, TUP 2018, TUPdate

American Screen Time Remains Thirteen Trillion Hours [TUPdate]

American adults are using their connected devices as much as ever, in 2018 totaling 13 trillion hours per week with their Smartphones, PCs, Tablets, and Game Consoles. This is slightly lower than the 13.3 trillion-hour level in 2017.

This is based on the 36th wave of Technology User Profile – TUP 2018. This analysis is based on 7,886 U.S. survey respondents, 7,521 respondents in TUP 2017, and 7,336 in TUP 2016.

Total Screen Time Stabilizes

There has been growing media awareness and reporting about adverse social and health effects from the over-use of technology devices. These concerns have sparked the develop of apps and settings to help monitor and manage screen time. Meanwhile, Americans, and indeed also adults around the world, continue to find useful and entertaining ways to integrate actively connected devices into their lives.

Average Screen Time per Device Stabilizes

The growth in total hours has been partially due to the steadily growing population of online adults between 2016 and 2018. However, during this same time period, the average number of connected devices being actively used has gone down slightly, dropping from 4.3 in 2016 to 4.2 in 2017, and then 3.9 in 2018. The net effect is that the average number of hours per device has actually increased between 2016 and 2018, rising from 13.4 hours per week per device to 15.4.

Total Screen Time Shrinks Among Multi-Device Users

Many of the total screen hours are due to the busyness of the busiest users. In 2016, over a third (34%) of total device hours were due to the activity levels of users using 7 or more connected devices. In 2017, this many-device group dropped to be accounting for 31% of total hours, and by 2018 account for 26% of total hours.

Meanwhile, users with 2 to 4 devices grew from representing 39% of total hours in 2016 to 41% in 2017, and 47% in 2018. This type of bimodal distribution emphasizes the importance of separating fewer-device from multi-device users for a deeper and more relevant understanding.

Screen Time Growth Spans Mono and Multi-Device Users

Drilling down in the TUP data a little further, we can see that the average number of device hours has changed across users with many devices and also among those with few. For users with any given number of devices, the average number of hours increased. While it may seem that this would result in a higher number of total device hours, as mentioned earlier the average number of actively-used connected devices shrank, bringing the total average down.

Looking ahead

Do these trends point to more or fewer devices, or to more or fewer hours using them? I expect a continued wobble in the number of devices being used.

“BOB” is one of the strongest forces bringing about a rising average number of devices. The key benefit from a Best-Of-Breed is having a narrow-function device which does something well. High-end cameras are very popular with expert photographers who value their specialized capabilities. The first cell phones were simple enough for phone calls and did very little else.

Forces in the direction of users using fewer devices include the absorption that comes from functional substitution. Smartphones were able to incorporate photography – absorbing the functionality of most standalone cameras, especially for ordinary photographers. Similarly, smartphones offered music-playing – thereby replacing most iPods and MP3 players. To the extent smartphone screens can become large enough to rival larger-screened tablets and PCs, they can begin to act as substitutes for image-intensive activities such as shopping. Similarly, to the extent voice assistants truly take hold beyond the niche or novelty stage, devices which support these may begin to reduce user’s demand for as many connected devices.

As to screen time measurement and monitoring taking hold among the mass market, I expect that to go about as well as most New Year’s Resolutions, full of honest intention but ultimately most of us will be distracted back into our habits.

About this TUPdate

The analysis in this TUPdate is based on results drawn from the most-recent wave of TUP (Technology User Profile), the 2018 edition which is TUP’s 36th continuous wave. This survey-based study details the use of technology products by a carefully-selected and weighted set of respondents drawn to represent online adults. This specific wave spanned the US, UK, Germany, India, and China, and this TUPdate focused on the U.S. From the installed base we focused in on online adults and how many hours they use a Smartphone, PC, or Tablet.

Resources

Current TUP subscribers may request the supporting TUP information used for this analysis or for even deeper analysis. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Devices, Market Research, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, TUP 2018, TUPdate