Tag Archives: Wireless

Tech Spending Higher Among Showrooming Buyers

There’s an adage that shoppers vote with their feet, and it can be argued that with the increased use of Smartphones, shoppers are voting with their fingers. Retailers have long wrestled with the balance of generating traffic and having shoppers visit only to ultimately go buy somewhere else. This practice, sometimes called Showrooming, is mostly a reflection of the intelligence and desires of buyers. Using any Smartphones and either a specialized app or even a simple web browser, it’s much easier for consumers to compare prices and products while they are in a brick and mortar outlet.

It might be assumed that shoppers who use their Smartphones to compare products and pricing are low spenders. In fact, the opposite is true.

[Photo courtesy of nobihaya under a Creative Commons license]

[Photo courtesy of nobihaya under a Creative Commons license]

Based on recent primary research by MetaFacts as part of our Technology User Profile (TUP) service, we’ve found that tech spending levels are 37% higher among these careful buyers than the average Smartphone user. Furthermore, tech spending levels are 81% higher than the average Internet-connected adult.

These active buyers are also unique in many other ways, and augmented in-store comparison is an important and long-time growing trend to reckon with.

Source

These results are based on the most recent wave of Technology User Profile, the TUP 2013 edition. The large-scale survey is in its 31st continuous year, documenting and detailing the full scope of technology adoption and use.

For this analysis, MetaFacts is sharing the answers to two key survey questions. The TUP survey gathers tech spending levels for both tech products and ongoing tech services, and split out between types of consumer electronics, computers, imaging, Internet, and other categories. The survey also details what consumers actually do with their many tech devices, including the product and price comparison they do within retailers.

In addition to tracking the regular activities of Smartphones, Technology User Profile details the many devices which online adults use to regularly connect to the Internet. The survey-based research details what people do with their devices, where they spend their technology dollars, and how often they update (or don’t update) their technology products.

Technology companies who want to know more about retail or online shoppers, Smartphone users, or about their current or future customers can contact MetaFacts to learn how to subscribe to the rich resources of Technology User Profile.

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Filed under Consumer research, TUP 2013, TUPdate

Renegade Distracted Drivers

By Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts

Will “the land of the free and the home of the brave” refer to driving? Who are the defiant drivers who insist on their right to drive while texting or sending an email?

Almost any driver in the US has noticed other drivers driving erratically. Many are distracted by one thing or another. Asked whether they feel that they themselves should be able to use tech products while driving, most adults agree they should not. However, some maintain they have that right.

There are 15.3 million Americans, or 9% of online adults, who agree or strongly agree that they “should be allowed to text or email while I am driving a car.” Many U.S. states have enacted laws against this activity, yet this attitude of entitlement persists. One year ago, our survey found the same level of self-justification – 9%. Understanding these defiant communicators can help marketers, tech developers, and other interested parties seeking to help their safety and those driving near them.

A picture of pirate renegades emerges – a segment which may be tough to reach. Lawless defiance is not limited to using phones where they please. These righteous independents intend to abandon their wireless carrier (index 541), are using the Internet less because of advertising (index 451), seek privacy by turning off mobile phone location services and avoiding certain apps (index 262), and find it acceptable to use unlicensed software at home (index 247).

Of dozens of demographics characteristics, one unique aspect: they are four times as likely to be male age 25-34. Demographics alone don’t define this group.

They’re ahead of the pack in using cloud services, indexing 300 or higher in Internet file/folder synchronization, remote PC access, and sharing music playlists. The same goes for sharing their videos online and making international VoIP calls, both with an index of 349.

Texting and emailing are the only things they do with their mobile phones. Those with smartphones are well above average in using them to watch television, make video calls, buy something, make status updates, save voice memos, and redeem coupons.

Although they are ahead of the pack in using their smartphones, they were the last in their class to adopt technology. They are mobile phone laggards and PC laggards, which means they were in the last 16% of their age group to buy their first PC or mobile phone.

Looking ahead

I expect that there will be a lot of resistance from wireless operators, handset makers, app developers, and most of the tech industry. Consumers, too, will resist laws and any challenges to their sense of freedom. Most want to be able to use what tech products they have anywhere and anytime, regardless of the consequences.  Having watched people adopt tech product for over 30 years, I’m optimistic there will be technological solutions. These will be supported by the majority who acknowledge that the specific combination of driving and communicating is over the line.

It took untold years to reach smokers, even after the relationships between smoking and adverse health effects were widely known. Will the fast-moving tech industry set a record in protecting its customers? I hope so, and evidently most of us agree as well.

Source

The information in this TUPdate is drawn from the MetaFacts Technology User Profile research service. Current TUP subscribers may submit an inquiry or use the TUP Interactive Access tool to drill further down into the TUP datasets. Others who are interested may contact MetaFacts.

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 can license direct access to TUP.

Methodological note

There is a well-known factor in survey research called social desirability bias. Respondents are known to answer some types of questions differently depending on the setting and who is asking them. To minimize this affect, we included attitudinal questions in a battery of other unrelated questions. Also, we allowed respondents to complete the survey online and anonymously, since this effect is lessened in self-administered surveys over answering by telephone or face to face with what they may see as authority figures.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing syndicated original research on the market shifts, trends and consumer profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology products and services. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at https://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, Smartphones, 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 TUP 2011

Are Smartphones really for fun, not communicating?

Are Smartphones really for fun, not communicating?

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

Are Smartphone subscribers more about fun than communication? Is entertainment that much stronger for Smartphone subscribers than for users of Basic Mobile Phones? Is the lack of a boss key because mobile phone users feel freer to have fun with their handsets than their PCs?

For Smartphone users, it’s not only playing games like Angry Birds that is widespread. Activities such as listening to music, watching movies, and checking sports and weather also are prevalent.

These fun activities are much more popular on Smartphones than on Basic Mobile Phones. For most key entertainment activities, more than three times the rate of Smartphone users find ways to play than the percentage of Basic Mobile Phone users.

Entertainment Activities by Mobile Phone Type-MetaFacts

Playing Games and Listening to Music are activities for more than half of Smartphone users, and for only one-fifth or less of Basic Mobile Phone users.

High-end app developers may be amazed that any Basic Mobile Phone users find ways to use their simpler phones to have any fun at all. That might be considered a glass half-full view, with the prospect that someone eager enough to struggle with the limited games and web access on most Basic Mobile Phones may be a great candidate to switch to a smartphone. The half-empty types may see this as a reality that for many consumers, good enough is good enough. They may be satisfied with simple games for casual play, and may be less prone to upgrade their platform. In either case, this highlights that app developers, handset makers and carriers need to look at the demand across multiple platforms so they don’t miss out on market opportunity or dissatisfy important customers.

Diving a little deeper into the Technology User Profile survey responses, fun is also age-linked. The game-playing rate among age 18-34 mobile phone users is 42% versus half that (21%) among those aged 35+. Although to a great extent, Smartphones have been more strongly adopted among younger than older adults, taking age into account; Smartphone users are simply more fun-oriented than users of Basic Mobile Phones.

Fun isn’t the only driver for Smartphones; communication does rate more highly for Smartphones than for Basic Mobile Phones, with usage broadly spanning phone calls, text messages, voicemail, and email for two-thirds or more of Smartphone users. For Basic Mobile Phone users, only phone calls and text messaging are used by over half of the users.

Looking ahead, bandwidth-hogs such as multi-player games and video calls are likely to drive demand for Smartphones as well as underlying wireless networks. However, as carriers seek to optimize their spectrum and profits, data caps or throttled apps may discourage the most active subscribers. Then, these users will either revert to other devices, or app makers and service providers will find ways to further optimize precious bandwidth, likely increasing supply to satisfy the demand driven by so many consumers.

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 https://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 Market Research, MetaFAQs, Mobile Phones, Technology, Technology User Overview Report, TUP 2010, TUPdate

Weak signals mean weak AT&T smartphone subscribers – reported in MetaFacts TUP survey

Weak signals mean weak AT&T smartphone subscribersA MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, MetaFacts Principal Analyst

How much does a weak AT&T signal affect how its subscribers use their smartphones? Now that Apple’s iPhone is officially being launched on Verizon’s network, will disgruntled subscribers simply jump carriers? Also, how large is the gap between this perception of AT&T’s network and Verizon’s?

There has been a lot of press about AT&T’s smartphone subscribers not getting the signal they want when they want it, particularly for its Apple iPhone users.

Based on our most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP) surveys, there is a relationship between how well subscribers perceive they are getting signal and how fully they use their smartphones.

Just under half (49%) of light-usage AT&T smartphone subscribers agree or strongly agree with the statement “My mobile phone is able to get signal any time so I can use it anywhere.” These light-usage Smartphone subscribers use their Smartphone more like a Basic Mobile Phone, with a below–average number of activities, focusing on core activities such as phone calls and text messages.

By comparison, 61% of heavy-usage AT&T Smartphone subscribers agree or strongly agree they can get signal when & where they want. The enjoy their Smartphones for a much richer range of activities, including downloading paid apps at 36 times the rate of light users. Other activities enjoyed by more than 30% of smartphone users and much more often by heavy-usage smartphone users are managing tasks (20x), watching movies (19x), keeping a calendar (12x), and checking sports, news, movie times, and weather (9x). In essence, when smartphone users can’t connect, they can’t fully enjoy what a smartphone can and will do for them.

Will Verizon be that different?

By comparison, Verizon’s current smartphone subscribers cite fewer problems with the network. While 86% of AT&T’s smartphone subscribers agree or are neutral about their ability to get signal when they want, 94% of Verizon’s subscribers similarly agree or are neutral.

This signal perception gap is not wide enough by itself to fully sway subscriber’s future choices. While it will continue to get a lot of press, other issues may not get as much attention, yet may have stronger damping effects.

Dissatisfied Smartphone subscribers may simply move to a Basic Mobile Phone. The idea of moving to a mobile phone that’s not sexy or advanced may seem like heresy, particularly within some parts of tech media. Reliability and simplicity appear to be growing in their importance as key buying factors. After all is said and done, subscribers do want to actually use what they’re carrying and paying for.

Furthermore, most buyers of new technology don’t often like to admit their frustrations and difficulties. There’s a personal identification with products like Smartphones, particularly among the least-technical earliest adopters. In other research MetaFacts has publicly released, we’ve identified a strong market for prepaid wireless and for the use of Basic Mobile Phones, and not only among the unemployed or socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Although Smartphones and signal issue get a lot of attention, consumers prove repeatedly that their choices, and subsequently the marketplace, is more complex than on first look.

Signal perception by mobile phone usage for AT&T Smartphone subscribers

Source

MetaFacts Technology User Profile Overview Edition – report available by contacting MetaFacts. 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. This edition is 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 communication products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, chat, and webcams – see the other communication-oriented questions TUP covers on www.technologyuser.com.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, 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 https://technologyuser.com/contact/for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

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Filed under Statistics, Tech Market, Technology User Overview Report, TUP 2010, TUPdate

Smartphones challenge Mobile PCs – the users speak

A TUPdate from MetaFacts by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

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

Why is this important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further Resources

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

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

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

About this TUPdate

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry topics. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at https://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 market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information about the syndicated research service, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2009, TUPdate