Smartwatch valleys and peaks

Smartwatches are an important product category in their own right and also a barometer for a complete picture of the active breadth of technology ecosystems. Smartwatches, primarily from Apple or using the Android environment, form a sizable market share, in active use by one-ninth to one-fourth of online adults in the US, Germany, the UK, and Japan. Gen Z and millennial adults are leading their use. The Boomer/Silent generations have a small but quickly growing share. Looking ahead, purchase plans are not substantial, although they describe a reasonable replacement market.
This MetaFAQ reports on the market penetration of smartwatches, split by generational age group, Apple and Android, and country. Report [TUP_doc_2023_1218_wret] in TUP Lenses: Consumer Electronics; Technology Ecosystems; Wearables, Hearables, Listening, and Speaking

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Stronger tech buying plans among remote workers

Stronger tech buying plans among remote workers – Workers working from home have substantially stronger purchase plans than workers who never work from home. To be able to work effectively, they need sufficient technology to enable communication, collaboration, comfort, and computing. Based on their recent survey responses, their technology needs are not fully satisfied.

This MetaFAQs reports on the purchase plans for computers, tablets, printers, consumer electronics, and other technology products, contrasting workers who work from home versus those who do not by country. Report [TUP_doc_2023_1129_plan] in TUP Lenses: Devices; PCs; Mobile Phones; Tablets; Consumer Electronics; Printers; Work/Life Balance

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Lost phone? Tech solution finds niche and then plateaus.

Who hasn’t misplaced their phone or keys or wondered where their luggage was?

Using technology to help find items has reached a plateau. The percentage of online adults using a wireless item tracker such as Tile or Apple’s AirTag has remained flat between 2021 and 2023. Overall global active usage has subsided from one in six to one in eight online adults. Active penetration rates have dropped among groups such as Gen Z adults in the US, UK, Germany, and China.
This may have seemed like yet another device to help attract users into adopting or staying with technology ecosystems. It’s too early to see if it’s making a difference. The market penetration is too small.

This MetaFAQs reports on the percentage of online adults in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, and China who actively use a wireless item tracker such as from Tile or Apple’s AirTag. Report [TUP_doc_2023_1025_tile] in TUP Lenses: Consumer Electronics; Technology Ecosystems

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Headcams – cultural precursor to VR headsets?

The growth potential for wearable video cameras, commonly termed “headcams” like GoPro, has been influenced by societal attitudes. Historically, there has been a hesitation to record others without consent, which could limit the broad adoption of such devices. However, cultural perspectives can evolve. Case in point: the widespread acceptance of taking photos and recording videos with smartphones. Furthermore, there has been cultural disapproval against wearables that are too obvious, such as on one’s head.

The rise of content creators on platforms like Instagram and TikTok suggests that the broader public might embrace headcams more in the future. This trend could provide fresh opportunities for tech marketers to promote wearable video cameras to a new generation of users.

In the realm of virtual reality, there are considerations about the cultural reception of VR headset devices like Apple Vision Pro or Meta Quest 3. The positive reception of these devices could inform the way headcams are perceived in the future.

Considering the media’s portrayal, a contemporary version of “The Truman Show” concept, where someone’s life is broadcasted in real-time, isn’t unthinkable, given past experiments with lifecasting in the 90s.

For those analyzing tech trends, these metrics provide a solid foundation: the number of adults across generations and countries using headcams versus smartphones for capturing videos and pictures. This data can provide insights into shifting user behaviors and preferences, and help identify which generation may adopt headcams first and how far they have progressed to date.

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Home entertainment activities among online Americans

Having fun is one of the main activities for which online Americans use their connected devices – smartphones, home computers, or tablets. In the time prior to and since Covid, there has been a shift in which devices online Americans mostly use for entertainment.

This MetaFAQs reports on the percentage of online Americans who regularly use their connected devices for entertainment activities, showing the four-year trend from 2019 through 2022 and drilling down into generational age groups and device types: smartphone, home computers, and tablets.

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Gaming trends and user profile

Online adults are deeply engaged in various forms of entertainment, particularly gaming. Over half of American adults use their connected devices for playing games, watching videos, and listening to music, like online adults worldwide. Despite temporary disruption due to the pandemic, the game-playing rate bounced back and grew gradually, indicating its popularity as a staple pastime. This is based on our TUP/Technology User Profile 2022 survey of 13,641 online adults across the US, Germany, UK, Japan, and China, as well as similarly-sized waves from 2019.

Nevertheless, the usage of specialized gaming equipment like game consoles, gaming PCs, or VR headsets has remained limited. Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft’s Xbox remain the global market leaders in consoles, each resonating with specific demographic groups and geographical locations. Gaming activities are part of the regular life of most online adults and span all age groups, with younger generations showing a particularly high adoption rate of newer technologies.

Despite a strong focus on gaming, more online adults use their devices for other entertainment activities like watching videos or streaming music. The global demand for gaming, whether casual or immersive, remains substantial, offering growth opportunities. With Apple recently entering the VR/AR/MR headset market, the industry is primed for potential expansion beyond its niche focus. Manufacturers may need to reconsider their current gaming-focused strategies to seize emerging opportunities effectively and broaden their market reach.

This TUPdate looks into the trend around game-playing with connected devices (smartphones, computers, tablets, game consoles), and the use of specialized game equipment (gaming PCs, game consoles). It profiles game-players by their age generation groups, household composition, and presence of children.

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