Smartphones continue their meteoric popularity and are now owned in 87 per cent of US homes, second only to televisions at 96 per cent ownership, according to Consumer Technology Association (CTA) research. CTA’s 20th Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study also shows that for the first time, the top three most-frequently owned tech products are now screen devices, as laptops – trailing only TVs and smartphones – reached their highest ownership level ever at 72 per cent.
“‘The Three Screens’ – TVs, smartphones and notebook computers – now dominate the kinds of tech devices Americans have in their home, speaking to consumers’ desire to be connected and entertained, anytime and anywhere,” said Steve Koenig, vice president of market research, CTA. “The rapid ascent of smartphone ownership in US households exemplifies the versatility of these devices – for communication, for entertainment, for productivity and more. And because of that, it’s possible we’ll see smartphone ownership in the US match that of TVs within the next five years.”
Emerging Tech – Smart Speakers, Smartwatches and More
Among new, emerging tech categories, smart speakers including the Amazon Echo and Google Home have nearly tripled in ownership rate to reach 22 per cent of American households, making it one of the fastest-adopted technologies since tablets. Smartwatch adoption continues to grow, with 18 per cent of US households now owning at least one of the devices – an increase of six percentage points over last year. Additionally, ownership rates of drones and virtual reality (VR) headsets were measured at ten and 11 per cent of households, respectively.
Consumers Remain Focused on The Big Screen
Next-gen screen technologies and the availability of larger screen sizes drove more US consumers to buy technology in and around the TV. 4K Ultra High Definition televisions experienced the largest growth in household ownership rate, rising 15 percentage points year-over-year to reach 31 per cent households ownership, and one in five (19 per cent) households owns a TV with a screen size of 60 inches or bigger. Ownership of digital media streaming devices rose nine percentage points since last year to 45 per cent of households.
“It’s no surprise that emerging categories such as smart speakers and VR are among the products consumers anticipate buying the most” said Ben Arnold, senior director of innovation and trends, CTA. “Many of these devices incorporate new technologies and features – artificial intelligence, voice recognition, faster processing – and at the same time provide a smarter way to communicate or experience content.”
The year 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of CTA’s Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study showing significant changes from 20 years ago. Going back to 1998, colour TVs, VCR decks, cordless phones, telephone answering devices and home CD players made up the top five most-frequently owned tech products in US households.
The 20th Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study ascertains ownership and purchase intent of consumer technology products among US households across various categories. The report was administered via a dual-frame telephone interview to 2,016 US adults between Feb. 22 – March 5, 2018.