US Smartphone Penetration Hits 80%, but Still Lags TV
Smartphones found their way into 27 million more US homes in the past year, according to the Consumer Technology Association's (CTA) 19th annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study.
The study found that 80% of US homes now have smartphones, up six points from last year. This makes smartphones the second-most widely adopted device among US homes. But smartphone penetration still lags TV penetration by a sizeable percentage: 96% of US households have TV sets.
While TV penetration continues to be near-ubiquitous -- as it has for decades -- the study did point to some shifts under the surface. While the number of households with at least one TV remained at 96%, the total number of TVs dropped by 3%, to 308 million. It's not a huge shift, but it does highlight the impact that tablets, laptops and smartphones are having on video consumption.
The big trend that the CTA identified in this study was connectivity -- the overall base of connected devices, be they smart TVs, smartphones, wearables, wireless speakers etc., were all growing steadily. Smartphones in particular are seen as the "personal hubs" for connected services, and the CTA anticipates they will be continue to be pervasive.
The big losers this year were DVD/Blu-ray players. Having ranked second on the list for several years, the category fell 14% to third this year, as OTT services and digital storage and distribution continue to ramp up.
Interestingly laptops/notebooks/netbooks (as a combined category) fell to fifth in the rankings even though household penetration grew slightly, and number of units sold grew 12%.
Among emerging technologies, UHD TVs ranked highest, with 16% of US households now owning a 4K UHD TV. That is up a rather impressive 9%, especially given that there is very little UHD content out there for these households to view. A further 11% plan to purchase a UHD TV in the coming year, according to the study. However, I suspect much of this growth is supply-driven, in that most higher-end TV sets are now UHD, with manufacturers and retailers pushing the transition.
The CTA's Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study tracks ownership and purchase intent for consumer technology products. This study is based on telephone interviews of 2,014 US adults and was conducted between February 2-13, 2017 by CTA Market Research.
— Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation
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