The Strategist

Pew Research: IT market in the US is saturated

10/01/2018 - 16:20

According to Pew Research Center, the technology market in the United States has stopped showing growth in the past two years. Shares of Americans who use social networks, own a smartphone, tablet or computer, are almost identical to those of 2016, although previously the market showed a steady growth. The experts believe that the market has reached saturation.

95% of American adults own phones, 77% of them own smartphones, 69% use social networks. This is exactly the same numbers as two years ago. At the same time, share of Americans owning broadband Internet fell by 2% to 65%, while share of computer owners declined from 78% to 73%. The only parameters that showed growth were total number of Internet owners (growth from 88% to 89%), as well as number of tablet owners (from 51% to 53%).

One of the factors behind the slowdown was saturation of the market, where only few did not use technology. For example, nine out of ten Americans aged 18 to 49 are often noticed online or own a smartphone. Also in high-income households, almost all have laptops or desktops.

In some cases, Americans cannot use new technologies due to financial constraints.

In the 2015 survey, 45% of users without broadband Internet indicated high cost of a subscription or computer as the main reason. It may also be related to the place of residence of Americans: six out of ten Americans living in rural areas complain that access to high-speed Internet is a problem in their area. This was stated by 43% of urban residents and 36% living in suburbs. At the same time, the number of Internet users who own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband Internet, increased from 12% in 2016 to 20% in 2018.

In other cases, users do not think that learning new technologies is important. In a 2013 poll, the Pew Research Center found that 34% of Americans do not show up online because they are not interested in this, or do not believe that the Internet is related to their lives.

At the same time, certain groups of Americans, in particular the older generation, face problems in using new technologies.
In a 2015 survey, 34% of Internet users over the age of 65 said they were unsure of their ability to use new devices. 48% of older people said they needed another person to help them set up a new device.

Although the number of Americans using social networks has not changed much over the past two years, the number of users of individual sites and applications is increasing. For example, the percentage of adult Americans using Instagram increased from 28% in 2016 to 35% in 2018. But today, the social network environment in which adolescents are located is significantly different from what it was a few years before. This may affect future growth.

Meanwhile, new devices continue to appear on the market. According to a 2017 survey, almost half of Americans (46%) use digital voice assistants on smartphones, smart speakers, and other devices. Also, new items are entering the market under the general name Internet of Things: from household thermostats and security systems to Smart City transport systems.