NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jan. 4, 2024 – The consumer electronics industry continues to push the boundaries of innovation and automation, yet a majority of U.S. consumers don’t feel proficient with tech, according to a new report by Asurion. The tech care company’s inaugural Tech Lifestyle Report features insights from a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, covering everything from device ownership and purchase patterns to how certain devices make users feel. The survey revealed that nearly two-thirds of consumers (66%) don’t consider themselves tech savvy, yet a majority of this group self-identified as their household’s primary tech decision maker. This gap not only emphasizes the need for consumer tech support, it begs the question: is smart tech’s evolution beginning to outpace consumers’ needs?
What people are buying – and planning to buy
Asurion’s Tech Lifestyle Report revealed some surprising trends in tech ownership and future purchase plans:
- 93% of U.S. consumers own a smartphone, and they’re in no rush to upgrade. Just 5% said they are planning to replace or upgrade their smartphone in the next 12 months, indicating current models are adequately serving users’ needs.
- Around half of consumers own a smart speaker or voice assistant, with 7% planning to purchase one for the first time in the next year. Smart home security devices are not far behind, with around one-third of respondents owning one and another 14% planning to buy one for the first time this year.
- Smart TVs are the most-owned devices in the Entertainment category – 77% of respondents own one. VR/AR headsets are the least-owned (17%), but 8% are planning to buy one for the first time this year, meaning one in four consumers will own one.
- Only one in four people currently own a smart appliance, though 16% plan to buy one for the first time in the next 12 months. More than any other device category, people perceive smart appliances to be too expensive and have higher concerns about them breaking – though as traditional appliances wear out, it might soon become hard to replace an appliance with one that isn’t smart.
Kids in the house predicts early adoption, high consumption of tech
Asurion’s Tech Lifestyle Report found that households with children buy and consume more tech than those without – they’re early adopters, too. Parents and caretakers of children are often either the first (22% vs. 16% for all consumers) or among the first (29% vs. 23%) to try new devices. Households with kids are not only more likely to own a number of smart devices – like tablets, smart watches, smart TVs, streaming devices, sound systems, gaming devices and home security devices – they also break devices at nearly 3x the rate of their no-kids counterparts.* As parents increasingly rely on tech solutions for everything from household comfort and security to managing tasks to taking care of their mental health, ensuring tech is working as it should is of paramount importance.
Boomers have the most positive feelings toward tech, Gen Z the most negative
While families with kids at home are the biggest tech purchasers, Baby Boomers might have the greatest appreciation for their tech. In Asurion’s Tech Lifestyle survey, Boomers associated the most positive emotions with their tech devices, while Gen Z associated the most negative emotions.
- Baby Boomers were more likely to feel “confident” and “empowered” by their personal tech like smartphones and tablets, whereas Gen Z was more likely to feel “stressed” and “anxious”
- Boomers were more likely to feel “productive” and “satisfied” with their home office tech like computers, while Gen Z was more like to feel “hopeless”
- Boomers were more likely to feel “safe” and “in control” of their smart home devices, while Gen Z was more likely to feel “confused” and “angry” toward theirs
Across all consumers, the device that makes people happiest is the game console. The device least effective at spreading happiness? The smart refrigerator. In fact, smart appliances yielded the most negative emotion descriptors of any device category.
What does it mean?
Even as the industry forecasts a highly automated, connected future, the majority of tech use takes place in the lives of real people who lack the time, inclination – and sometimes the tech savvy – to use their devices in the ways shown in aspirational product ads. Asurion helps fill the gap between tech’s potential and its users’ realities, with protection plans and repair solutions to help get devices back up and running quickly when customers need them, plus expert tech support, device installation and security services to ensure devices are connected and protected.
For more insights and to download Asurion’s full Tech Lifestyle Report, click here. For more information about Asurion, its protection plans and services, visit asurion.com.
As the world’s leading tech care company, Asurion helps 300 million customers get the most out of their devices, from cellphones, laptops and tablets to TVs, security cameras and refrigerators – and nearly everything in between. Whether you have your devices insured with us or just need a quick fix, we’re here to help. We provide tech protection, repair and support, with experts available online or over the phone. We care for people and their tech whenever, wherever and however.
* Asurion-sponsored survey by Market Research Firm Dynata conducted March 2-9, 2022, of 1,965 U.S. adults (18+) representative of the U.S. population.