Tag Archives: Trends

Tablet-First. Is it a thing? (TUPdate)

Tablet-First. Is it a thing? – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, February 17, 2017

Which comes first – Smartphone? Tablet? Notebook? For a small and steadily growing segment, the tablet comes first as the primary connected device.

Over the last three years, the share of connected adults using a tablet as their primary device has expanded. In our 2014 wave of TUP, we found that 6% of adults were using a tablet as their primary device – before a PC, mobile phone, or game console. In TUP 2015, the Tablet-First rate had grown to 7% and by TUP 2016, reached 9%.MetaFacts-td1702-tablet-first-trend-metafacts-tup-2014-2016-2017-02-16_10-02-19

It’s not as if these Tablet-First users are only using a tablet. Among Tablet-First users, half (50%) use a Smartphone as their secondary device, followed distantly by a Tower Desktop (15%), Basic cell phone (10%), and Notebook PC (9%).

Tablets are also popular as second devices, with 17% of connected adults regularly using one as their secondary device. Half (50%) of these Tablets-Second users have a Smartphone as their primary device, followed by a Tower Desktop (23%), and Notebook PC (15%).

Who are these Tablet-First users?

Older women use a tablet as their primary device at a higher rate than other age/gender groups. Females age 35 and up have a higher Tablet-First rate than any other gender/age group.MetaFacts-td1702-tablet-first-metafacts-tup-2016-us-2017-02-16_09-43-52

Besides age or gender distinctions, Tablet-First users aren’t especially technology early adopters or laggards, nor are they primarily lower socioeconomic groups which might be thought to not be able to afford notebooks or smartphones.

Tablet-First users do skew slightly higher among adults with less-than-average educational attainment, with 23% having a high school education or lower, somewhat higher than the 19% rate among connected adults.

Looking more deeply at how older women use tablets differently from younger women or other men, another pattern stands out. Older women use tablets for a broader range of activities than other age/gender groups. They simply get more out of these devices. This includes any tablet they use – not only the ones used as the primary device.MetaFacts-td1702-tablet-first-most-broadly-active-by-gender-age-2017-02-17_10-45-44

Analyzing the top-third most-broadly-active by number of tablet activities by age and gender groups, females age 45 to 64 stand out. They are 24% higher than the national average than other age/gender groups based on how many activities they regularly do with their tablets. In contrast, males 65+ and 25-34 have the lowest levels of broad usage, indexing at only 75 or lower.

What other devices do they use?

Tablet-First users may choose to primarily use their Tablet, yet most have other devices. Three-fourths of Tablet-First users regularly use a PC, and over three-fourths (77%) regularly use a Smartphone. They have other mobile devices, such as a Notebook (42%) or a Home Notebook (36%). Another 36% have a second PC.MetaFacts-td1702-tablet-first-other-devices-2017-02-16_10-29-09

The clear majority of Tablet-First users have more devices than their tablet – 99% have 2 or more. Eight-five percent have 3 or more connected devices they regularly use.

What are these Tablet-First tablets used for?

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. Instead, many of the major activities can be adequately done with a tablet that may or may not have an external keyboard.MetaFacts-td1702-tablet-first-activities-2017-02-16_15-29-21

Whose Tablet is used first more than others?

Apple’s iPad is the undisputed leader among the Tablet-First group, representing 57% of the installed base. The nearest contender is Samsung, with only a 10% share. Although Microsoft may begin to make inroads with their recently revamped Surface line, the current share is only 3%.

Looking ahead

Several aspects stand out from these results. While age-affected eyesight may contribute to older adults preferring devices with larger screens, it’s not as simple as age. So, I don’t expect tablet-makers to rush out to build ever-larger tablets as the population ages. It’s only among females that Tablet-First rates are highest, not among males. Also, when separating genders, rates don’t increase with age. The choice of activities is a big factor, as simple activities from online shopping to game playing and social networking are easily done with a tablet, and each benefit from having a larger screen.

Definitionally, the market is likely to get muddied for regular consumers. As notebook companies continue to innovate with convertible and 2-in-1 designs, the fuller functionality of notebooks is being integrated into devices as mobile as tablets. Furthermore, smartphone makers continue to experiment with larger screens. Also, Apple continues to position its popular iPad as a fully-functional “Super. Computer.” computing device.

For these Tablet-First users, though, who appear to be functioning well with a broad collection of devices, it seems unlikely that one single device will capture their hearts and fingers.

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 was based on results in the TUP 2016 Chapter – Devices, Section DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices from TUP 2014, TUP 2015, and TUP 2016. Also, activity data was selected from Tablet Activities (Rows 670 ACT_TAB).

Related MetaFAQs

The following related MetaFAQs address questions included in this TUPdate.

MetaFAQs Question TUP Reference
mq0005 How prominent is remote printing from tablets? Chapter: G Tablets  Section: G1-TAB/Tablets  Tables: [670 ACT_TABxTAB] Tablet PC Activities
mq0038 Who uses their Smartphone as their primary connected device? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [120 DRxDEV_PRIM] Respondent Demographics
mq0055 How are Tablets used differently than Notebook PCs? Chapter: A User Profile  Section: A1-OV/Overview  Tables: [670 ACT_TABxOV] Tablet PC Activities
mq0059 How many Tablet PCs are used to make phone calls? For video calls? Chapter: G Tablets  Section: G1-TAB/Tablets  Tables: [670 ACT_TABxTAB] Tablet PC Activities
mq0063 Who are the Apple-only users? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D3-DEV_ECO/Device OS Ecosystems  Tables: [120 DRxDEV_ECO] Respondent Demographics
mq0083 How many adults regularly take pictures with their connected devices? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D5-KEY_DEV/Key Devices  Tables: [590 ACT_IMGxKEY_DEV] Graphics/Image Activities
mq0122 How are Smartphones used differently than Tablet PCs? Chapter: A User Profile  Section: A1-OV/Overview  Tables: [700 ACT_SPxOV] Smartphone Activities
mq0126 What is the primary communication device among Tablet owners? Chapter: G Tablets  Section: G1-TAB/Tablets  Tables: [570 ACT_COMMxTAB] Communication Activities
mq0157 How prominent is printing images from tablets? Chapter: G Tablets  Section: G1-TAB/Tablets  Tables: [670 ACT_TABxTAB] Tablet PC Activities
mq0181 How are Smartphones used differently than Tablet PCs? Chapter: A User Profile  Section: A1-OV/Overview  Tables: [670 ACT_TABxOV] Tablet PC Activities
mq0220 Is there an age skew for Apple iPads? Chapter: A User Profile  Section: A4-AGE/Age Ranges  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxAGE] Key Device Metrics
mq0263 Of those who use a Smartphone as their primary connected device, do they have more Windows, Android, or Apple devices? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [270 DEVxDEV_PRIM] Devices
mq0300 Of those who use a Notebook PC as their primary connected device, do they have more Windows, Android, or Apple devices? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [270 DEVxDEV_PRIM] Devices
mq0304 Is there an age gap between those who communicate primarily with their Smartphones, Tower Desktops, Notebooks, and Tablets? Chapter: L Activities  Section: L3-ACTCOMM/Communications  Tables: [120 DRxACTCOMM] Respondent Demographics
mq0377 What is the most popular combination of connected devices? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D1-COMBO/Device Combinations  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxCOMBO] Key Device Metrics
mq0378 Of those who use a Smartphone as their primary connected device, what other device have they used for most of their life? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [160 ADOPTxDEV_PRIM] Technology Adoption
mq0379 Of those who use a Smartphone as their primary connected device, what are their 2nd and 3rd devices? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxDEV_PRIM] Key Device Metrics
mq0397 Can Apple rightly claim to have captured the biggest tech spenders? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D6-KEY_DEV_OS/Key Devices by OS  Tables: [790 SPENDxKEY_DEV_OS] Tech Spending
mq0460 Is there an age or gender skew to connected music listening? Chapter: M Consumer Electronics  Section: MU-MUSIC/Music Players, Services, or Listening  Tables: [120 DRxMUSIC] Respondent Demographics
mq0474 Is there an age skew to TV watching, whether through through any combination of traditionally subscribed services (cable, satellite), over-the-top set-top boxes, or using a Connected Device? Chapter: M Consumer Electronics  Section: MT-TV_DEVACT/TVs, Boxes, or Services, TV or Video Watching  Tables: [120 DRxTV_DEVACT] Respondent Demographics
mq0495 What else do Apple Mac users own more often than the average Connected Adult? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D6-KEY_DEV_OS/Key Devices by OS  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxKEY_DEV_OS] Key Device Metrics
mq0530 Of those who use a Smartphone as their primary connected device, how many connected devices do they actively use? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [490 UNITSxDEV_PRIM] Units
mq0531 Of those who use a Smartphone as their primary connected device, what are they planning to buy next? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [810 PLANSxDEV_PRIM] Purchase Plans
mq0535 Are the productivity-oriented Smartphone users very different in age from the average Connected Adult? Chapter: L Activities  Section: L8-ACTPROD/Personal/Productivity  Tables: [120 DRxACTPROD] Respondent Demographics
mq0626 Of those who use a Tower Desktop PC as their primary connected device, what are their 2nd and 3rd devices? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxDEV_PRIM] Key Device Metrics
mq0628 Of those who use a Tower Desktop PC as their primary connected device, how many connected devices do they actively use? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [490 UNITSxDEV_PRIM] Units
mq0629 Of those who use a Notebook PC as their primary connected device, how many connected devices do they actively use? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [490 UNITSxDEV_PRIM] Units
mq0630 Of those who use a Desktop PC as their primary connected device, what are they planning to buy next? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [810 PLANSxDEV_PRIM] Purchase Plans
mq0631 Of those who use a Notebook PC as their primary connected device, what are they planning to buy next? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D2-DEV_PRIM/Primary and Secondary Devices  Tables: [810 PLANSxDEV_PRIM] Purchase Plans
mq0677 How many adults use a Tablet using Apple iOS, Google Android, or Windows? Chapter: D Devices  Section: D6-KEY_DEV_OS/Key Devices by OS  Tables: [250 DEV_KEYxKEY_DEV_OS] Key Device Metrics
mq0663 How many users make video phone calls using their Tablet? Chapter: A User Profile  Section: A1-OV/Overview  Tables: [670 ACT_TABxOV] Tablet PC Activities

 

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Filed under Consumer research, Entertainment, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Shopping, Tablets, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Tech Purchase Plans – Some Wins and Some Fails (TUPdate)

Tech Purchase Plans – some wins and some fails – a TUPdate by Dan Ness

Some tech products seem to be on everyone’s shopping list, and yet that’s not really the case. Well, certainly smartphones and mobile PCs rank near the top, as they have for years. However, several highly-publicized products haven’t ranked in the top 20 while other less-acclaimed standbys continue to rank well.

Smartwatches by anyone except Apple or Google? Home Thermostats? Chromebooks? They’re not in the top 20, languishing along with basic feature phones. Only a small number of tech buyers are showing true interest.

Diving into the purchase plans from our most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP 2016), we’ve identified some very interesting patterns.

What are the top-planned tech products?

Smartphones top the list of purchase plans, with the majority being among those who already use a smartphone. Gaming PCs are strong, with Gaming Desktop PCs drawing nearly triple the interest of Gaming Notebook PCs. Traditional Notebooks continue to rank strongly, while other mobile PC plans are split between 2-in-1 and convertible designs.metafacts-top-30-plans-2016-12-08_16-51-01

Fitness trackers show promise, handily outranking plans for smartwatches by Apple, Google, or any of the many languishing others.

Two products continuing to show steady demand are the venerable Printer and Tower Desktop. Both continue to be ranked in the top 10 for interest.

Apple’s iPad continues to show solid interest, benefiting from recent product refreshes. Plans for Android tablets, however, don’t measure up to Apple’s.

Hits for key segments

What’s interesting is that most tech plans are not evenly spread across all technology users, and instead several key segments have plans that stand out from the pack.

Any tech purchase plans by age

One simple difference between those planning and those not planning – age. Tech purchase plans are stronger among younger than older adults.metafacts-plans-overall-by-age-2016-12-07_15-53-38

Younger adults have stronger plans to purchase any of the 30 tech products we surveyed respondents about. Adults age 30-34 are the peak group with overall purchase plans, with 77% planning to buy at least one product in the coming year. At the other end of the age spectrum, adults age 70 or above are the nadir group with respect to purchase plans, with 29% planning to buy any of the surveyed tech products.

Sigma analysis show youthful intensity

A summation analysis reveals stronger purchase intensity among younger than older adults. The sigma – summation of the plans for all of the respective tech products – shows that adults age 30-39 have the strongest plans of any age group. This is a more intensive curve than the above penetration analysis, reflecting the much broader range of plans among younger adults.metafacts-plans-summation-by-age-2016-12-07_15-53-38

The six most-age-skewed tech products

Six tech products stand out for being age-skewed – with the largest differences between plans among older and younger adults.

Gaming Desktop PCs are at the top of the list, with respect to the widest difference between those with and without plans by age groups. It’s not as if these tricked-out desktops are only pulled towards the youngest among us. The group with the strongest plans are adults age 30-34, which reflects in part that these older adults have the means to pay for these more-powerful PCs. It is also due in part that older adults have more PC usage and experience, with productivity activities as in game planning.

Smartphones – both Apple iPhones and Androids – are more popular with younger than older adults. Since younger adults have higher penetration of smartphone usage than older adults, this reflects a strong replacement market. Conversely, low interest levels also reflects a low likelihood for the smartphone market to strengthen its penetration among older adults.metafacts-age-skewed-plans-by-age-2016-12-07_16-23-42

PC purchase intentions are strongest among age 35-39 adults for more than one PC form factor. This reflects the desire for expanded PC use among this important segment, and also this group’s openness to have PCs which are packaged in different formats.

Something for each, but not every, age group
There’s something for everybody. Each age group has its preferences, with some products at the top of mind of nearly every age group. While looking at the top three ranked products within each age group, we found some interesting patterns. Apple’s iPhone is singular because it’s top-ranked in all groups – in the top three for all 11 age groups. Android Smartphones aren’t very far behind, being top-ranked in 9 groups. That the two oldest groups didn’t report Android Smartphones on their future purchase list may be due in part to the phone or carrier brand having stronger recognition than the Google Android operating system.

Three tech products are strongest among generally older groups – traditional notebooks, printers, and fitness trackers. That 7 of the 11 age groups rank traditional notebooks in the top of their shopping list bodes well for the venerable PC.

Although wearables such as Apple’s Watch and Google Wear have garnered much media attention, neither are in the top three for any age group. One wearable is, though, and it’s fitness trackers. Despite advertising often featuring slim younger women in yoga pants, fitness trackers only rank among the top three items for adults who are age 70 and above. This category is partly an example of aspirational marketing, appealing to those who want to be something they aren’t (yet).

  • The Apple iPhone is among the top 3 for all 11 age groups
  • Android Smartphone – ranked in 9 age groups – younger adults
  • Traditional Notebook – ranked in 7 groups – older adults
  • Printer – ranked in 4 age groups – generally older adults
  • Gaming Desktop PC – ranked in 4 age groups – younger adults
  • Fitness Tracker – only ranks in the top 3 in one age group – age 70+

The six most-spending-skewed tech products

Six tech products stand out based on analysis of consumer tech spending by quartiles. Top spenders – those in the top 1/4th of total household tech spending – are above average in their purchase plans for nearly every tech product. What’s interesting are the tech products which have captured above average interest among the next tier of buyers – those that are in the 3nd-highest quartile of total tech spending.

Within this spending segment, the six tech products which show above-average plans include three Apple products, three wearables, and a fun-oriented category.

The uniquely-strong products from Apple include the iPhone, iPad, and Watch. Apple’s regular product line refresh has helped keep interest high.metafacts-plans-by-spend-2016-12-07_14-32-45

Interestingly, interest for fitness trackers outpaces smartwatches, even among the biggest spenders. This supports, in part, the notion that cost would be a primary barrier to smartwatch adoption. Even more so, it reflects the early stage wearables have in the user’s device collection. There is still plenty of experimentation ahead, as entrants come and go, as ecosystems flower and fade, and mostly as more mainstream users integrate wearable devices into their regular activities.

What you have today – and what you’ll have next – Plans by current device combination
Our research continues to show that future tech purchases are strongly affected by consumer’s current products. Two device combinations stand out as those with the strongest tech purchase plans. Users with a desktop, notebook, mobile, and a tablet make up 31% of connected adults, and those with a notebook, tablet, and mobile phone are 10% of adults. Users with other combinations have tech purchase plans below average.

Five tech products stand out by having stronger-than-average plans among these two popular combos. The Apple iPhone tops the list, with 13% of all connected adults planning to buy one. For those with all four devices – desktop, notebook, tablet, and mobile phone – 19% plan to get an Apple iPhone, well above the average. Those juggling three devices – notebook, tablet, and mobile phone – are also above average in planning to get an Apple iPhone, with 16% planning to get one.metafacts-plans-by-combo-2016-12-07_15-47-47

Purchase plans for traditional notebooks are also strong, and in this case strongest among this 2nd-ranked combination, representing an additional or replacement notebook for 13% of adults. Plans for the largest combination segment are also stronger than average, at 11% of these adults.

Other above tech products for both of these device-combination segments include a Fitness Tracker such as a FitBit, an Apple iPad, and an Android Tablet.

Looking ahead
Looking ahead, we expect the tech-device-rich to get tech-richer, with those who have the broadest collection of technology products and services to remain within that segment of super-tech users. Wearables are still having a tough time finding interest among a broad market, much less finding broad adoption.

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). Trend information is based on prior waves. 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.

Numerous TUP sections feature analysis of spending plans. These include the Overview, Age Ranges, Age, Gender, Adoption Summary, PC Adoption, Mobile Phone Adoption, Adoption Years, Device Combinations, Primary and Secondary Devices, Devices OS Ecosystems, Brand Footprint, Key Devices, Key Devices/OS, Home-Family PCs, Recently Purchase PCs, Purchase Year, Tablets, Mobile Phones, Smartphone, Basic cell phone, Smartphone Data, Lines, Spending, Wearable Technology, Hearables/Listening, TVs, Music Players, and Social Networks sections.

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Filed under Consumer research, Desktops, Market Research, Notebooks, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016

Hold the phone – PCs rebound for communication among one segment (MetaFAQs)

Which segment uses which device for their primary communication device more than a Smartphone or Basic cell phone?metafacts-metafaqs-mq0065-mobile-phone-primacy-for-communication-by-segment-2016-11-08_09-34-11

None do, although one segment shows a counter trend. Mobile phones – especially Smartphones – are the primary communications devices for all age/employment segments. This has been a growing trend for the last several years, and 2014 marked the last year the PC was king for communications among any segment. In 2015, the last group to focus on mobile phones for their spoken, visual, and written communications activities was the segment of adults age 50 and above and who are not employed.

However, one segment has made a reversal of that phone-only trend. Employed adults age 18-39 have started to increase their use of PCs as their primary communications device. While mobile phones still lead, this shift may be surprising to some.

Looking more deeply into what this segment is doing by drilling down into the TUP activities data by device type, two activities stand out. Young employed adults are increasingly making web-based group meetings and video calls. From Slack to Skype and for work and personal matters, this segment is using these activities at nearly twice the national rate.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0065-primary-communiction-device-for-employed-younger-2016-11-08_09-34-11

To be clear, the PC has not returned to primacy for communication among younger employed adults. However, collaboration has sparked some renewed life in the old workhorse.

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

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapters with the most information about communication activities is the TUP 2016 Activities Chapter.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Communication, Convertibles, Desktops, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Smartphones, Trends, TUP 2016

Apple’s Long March into the Majority (TUPdate)

Apple’s Long March into the Majority – Dan Ness, October 27, 2016
td1609-apple-penetration-2016-10-25-1311
For the first time in tech history, Apple has reached the half-way mark in the active installed base. As of our 2016 wave of the TUP survey, 52% of connected adults are using either an Apple Macintosh, iPhone, or iPad. This overall penetration statistic reflects that at least one key Apple device is in the hands of over half of the market.

Apple’s achievement has been from multiple successes – not only one blockbuster. In fact, just as all boats rise together on the same tide, each of Apple iPad, iPhone, and Macs have attained greater market penetration.

The iPhone has lead the charge, passing one-fourth of U.S. connected adults in 2015 to reach 36% in 2016. The iPad has experienced the most dramatic growth, stretching beyond one in five adults in 2015 to 29% in 2016. Of the three key devices, the Apple Mac and MacBooks are starting to mark their mark beyond their prior return customers. Having been strong among students and mobile employees for some time, especially MacBooks, both Apple notebooks and desktops are reaching a wider audience.
metafacts-td1609-apple-device-penetration-2016-10-25-1305

Apple has achieved this in part through balancing proprietary designs with open standards. To encourage and support use by users of only one of Apple’s key devices, each one needs to play well with other competitive products. For example, iPhone and Android Smartphone users need to be able to communicate with each other. Although Apple hasn’t fully opened their iMessage system, basic text messaging works cross-platform. iPad users need to be able to easily browse web pages with as much ease as on a Windows or Android Tablet, even while Apple famously avoided enabling Adobe Flash. Mac users need to be able to share documents with Windows users, and that’s smoother than ever.

Apple’s growing penetration has also been one of expanding breadth. Now effectively half (49%) of Apple’s customers have two or more of Apple’s key devices. Only one year ago, in 2015, only 41% had that many. The most demonstrably loyal Apple customers have the full collection of these three key devices. This continues to be a small group, at 15% of Apple’s customers for these devices, and yet this is a growing group.

Diving into the combinations
To get a more complete understanding into the dynamics, I dove more deeply into the TUP data. One fruitful dimension of our custom forecasting analysis is based on what users have. For most tech products and service, buyers begin with what they have. The current set of products has a strong impact on shaping future choices. For example, when consumers mull buying a tablet, those already using both an Apple Mac and iPhone are more likely to include an iPad in their consideration set than those with no Apple devices at all. They’re also more likely to have an ongoing connection with Apple, even if it’s limited to periodic operating system updates. Similarly, those with any single Apple device are more likely than non-users to at least consider an additional Apple device. Of course, this isn’t automatically true, since in some cases in can backfire if users are having bad experiences with the product, brand, or in this case, the OS ecosystem.

The largest group based on combinations of Apple devices – those who are only using an iPhone, and not an iPhone or iPad. This group has been largest since 2014. Those who have added an iPad to go along with their iPhone have brought this 2-Apple-device combination to be the 2nd-largest. Perhaps surprisingly, the 3rd-largest Apple-device combination is the set of users who have all three. Although this Apple-intense group only represents 8% of all connected adults, it’s grown from being 4% only one year prior.metafacts-td1609-apple-combo-penetration-2016-10-25-1157

Into the [main] stream
With Apple’s move into the majority, will it be harder for Apple to be perceived as elite, special, and “different”?

Even in the 1980’s when I was researching markets for Apple, the company was different and special. From its beginning, Apple appealed to and reached a small share of the market. There have always been certain segments of the market where Apple has dominated at least some of the time, such as among creatives in graphics, marketing, and education.

We are conducting additional analysis of technology users by their employment role and industry, to see where other TUP results point to strongthening or weakening Apple adoption through buyer’s purchase intentions, refresh rates for PCs (Macs), Smartphones, and Tablets, socioeconomic factors, and many other factors.

Looking ahead
We expect Apple’s expansion to continue, although not with as high growth rates as in the past. In the tablet business, Microsoft’s Surface has made recent inroads, such that 12% of connected adults are using a Windows Tablet. Google Android Tablets are also a strong force, being actively used by 17%.

With the recent refresh of the MacBook line, Apple stands to continue its broadening penetration. The foremost  buyers will come from within the ranks of current MacBook and Apple desktops users. We expect a smaller percentage of buyers to come from the ranks of current Windows Notebook users. Stronger yes will be those users with at least one Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

This trope can finally be truthfully said: these segments are Apple’s low-hanging fruit.

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). Trend information is based on prior waves. 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.

The TUP 2016 Devices Chapter details device combinations, as well as device primacy, OS Ecosystems, brand footprint, and other key analysis points.

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Filed under Market Research, Market Segmentation, Market Sizing, Notebooks, Operating systems, Smartphones, Tablets, Technology adoption, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Trends in Device Juggling (TUPdate)

Trends in Device Juggling: The Increasingly Active Smartphone, Persistent PC, and Late-Blooming Tablet – Dan Ness, October 20, 2016

We’re using more of our connected devices, and we’re getting more out of them. Looking deeper, some groups of Americans are expanding their collections while others are contracting.

The growing device number trend goes against one common meme – that “the PC is dead”. On first glance, only viewing the measure of devices per each connected adult, PC usage is flat. That shows that instead of PCs being replaced by Tablets or Smartphones, people are expanding their collections of actively used devices.metafacts-td1610-growing-device-collection-2016-10-19_16-35-10

There’s also something else going on. This top-line view may appear to show that “everyone” is using more devices, and as I’ll show later, that’s not the case. Some users have a more mobile profile while others are happily sedentary.

Both Desktops and Notebooks are a stable replacement market. Market demand is largely based on replacing older technology.

Tablets, although selling at high volumes in previous years, were in their earliest years isolated to a small niche segment busily replacing one after the other. Some shipments-based analysis missed the fast replacement cycle and misled some early analysts into believing these tablets were all being actively used and thereby increasing the installed base. Only in 2014 did penetration measurably broaden, and more importantly, so did the breadth of their active usage.

Smartphones have been for many years subsidized by carriers and replaced at the end of a subscriber’s contract. However, as subscribers have increasingly moved to contract-free use, we are seeing many replace their smartphones more quickly than others. The overall per capita average has increased as penetration has broadened.

Where the Activities Are

It’s not enough to simply have a device. What matters is whether it is actively used or not. The Smartphone is the most broadly used connected device, being actively used for more types of activities than any other connected device. This has been true since 2014. Tablets are only recently starting to expand their breadth of use in a more serious way, challenging the Notebook’s position as the 2nd-most broadly used device.

This measure is based on the breadth of activities by device type. The MetaFacts TUP survey includes an extensive range of activities, from shopping and entertainment to communication and productivity.

The Shifting Activity Emphasis
Looking more deeply, these two factors taken together tell a similar, although stronger, story. Mobile devices form the bulk of actively used devices. Tablets are increasing in number and usefulness, and based on their penetration and breadth of use, are now on par with notebooks. Desktop PCs continue to be both widely used and broadly useful, so should not be discounted as a powerful and persistent, if withering, force.metafacts-td1610-shifting-activity-emphais-2016-10-19_16-35-10

To determine the activity emphasis, we combined the per capita device type usage with the profile of each device’s activity levels. In this analysis, Smartphones can be seen as the powerhouse they’ve become. With both increasing penetration and broadening activity, the activity emphasis continues to grow for Smartphones.

The Preferred Combinations
Looking at per-capita or penetration analysis is a good starting point, and yet obscures some important differences and shifts in the market. Drilling down into the TUP data reveals more important patterns. First, having many devices is popular, not by many but by a large segment. The most-preferred combination of devices involves using four or more devices: two types of PCs: a Desktop and a Notebook, a Tablet, and either a Smartphone or Basic feature phone. This combination is currently used by nearly one-third (31%) of adults.

The second-most popular combination is a PC of any kind and a Smartphone. This represents nearly one-fifth (18%) of users.metafacts-td1610-popular-combinations-of-devices-2016-10-19_16-35-10

The third-most popular combination is used by nearly as many adults as the previous combination – 16%. This includes a Tablet, a Desktop PC, and either a Smartphone or Basic Feature phone.

One small combination worthy of note is one without a PC. These hardy and creative users have found a way to function with only a Tablet and a mobile phone – either a Smartphone or a Basic feature phone. While this group is very small – at 6% – it bears watching. It represents a possible approach for those wishing to be even more mobile than before. This group had more members a few years ago. In 2013, 11% of adults had this combination, and then migrated to other device combinations. At that time, many were new to technology use and started with this combination and then added a PC. However, this year both Microsoft and Apple have advertised their Tablets as PC replacements, and this group of users now includes those who have answered that call.

Leapfrogging into the Future
When looking into and creating the future, it’s vital to deeply understand the present. Consumers begin where they are. They don’t make choices in a vacuum and instead are strongly impacted by their current product collection. This pattern is a key element in the custom forecasting work we do.metafacts-td1610-device-trail-step-1-2016-10-19_16-35-10

Buyers have a strong disposition to follow a chain of events to get from point A to point B. Their choices are strongly affected by their current devices, ecosystems, activities, and habits. For example, while in 2013 18% of Connected Adults used a basic cell phone, desktop or notebook PC, and no Tablet, this combination dwindled to 9% while many users upgraded from their basic cell phone to using a Smartphone. The combination many moved to – a Smartphone, desktop or notebook, and no Tablet – today includes 18% of adults.metafacts-td1610-device-trail-step-2-2016-10-19_16-35-10

Similarly, the richest collection of devices has grown from being one of the least popular to being the most popular. The previously small group having a Tablet, Notebook, Desktop, and either a Smartphone or basic feature phone grew from 8% in 2013 to be 31% of adults. Many of these previously used everything except a Tablet.metafacts-td1610-device-trail-step-3-2016-10-19_16-35-10

The trend is not as simple as more devices being used. Many users are using fewer devices by choosing to use one type of PC – a desktop or a notebook. This is for many different reasons. While some users prefer the mobility of a notebook, others are moving to a more sedentary profile and eagerly shift to an all-in-one integrated PC design.

The Road Ahead

Looking ahead, we anticipate a gradual flattening in the overall average number of devices that people use. Desktops and Notebooks taken together will continue to dwindle in activity emphasis with some users preferring one form factor over the other. The growing acceptance of high-end gaming Desktops and Notebooks will boost the venerable PC’s position among the small but growing niche of hard-core PC gamers. The reemergence of highly-affordable and well-configured All-in-One integrated PCs will attract more casual users who otherwise would be complacently comfortable with what they have. Positioning by tablet makers from Apple to Microsoft with boost the broader use of Tablets as PC replacements beyond any gains earned from lengthening user experience.

Furthermore, new PC form factors will capture the imaginations of the design-oriented with newly shaped devices such as the speaker-shaped HP’s Pavilion Wave. Also, we’ll see further adoption of very small form factor PCs such as the Apple Mac Mini or HP Elite Slice.

Some day the device will disappear. It may sound like science fiction. In the not-too-distant future, we’ll see the beginning of the slow death of devices. These will be extensions of products and services such as today’s Amazon Echo or Dot. A person’s voice, face, or token will establish identify and allow them to use any of a wide range of microphones or cameras throughout their homes, cars, workplaces, or public places. With these connected to a high-speed network, extensive computing power needn’t be local. For this to happen in any sizable way, beyond technical hurdles there are still many factors to be addressed, from privacy and security to how information will be displayed or spoken in a useful way. The Echo’s current penetration below 2% is only the first step in a very long journey.

Well before a deviceless future comes about, though, consumers will continue to get more our of their devices. They will continue their momentum of broadening their activities with each of their many devices, regardless of size or shape.

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). Trend information is based on prior waves. 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.

The TUP 2016 Devices Chapter details device combinations, as well as device primacy, OS Ecosystems, brand footprint, and other key analysis points. In particular, see the table set [490 UNITS x COMBO].

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