Do Americans Love Their Electronics? Nielsen Survey Gives Us a Glimpse

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With CES finished on the 9th, I was catching my breath a bit and looking over a fact sheet put out by the Nielsen Company. What I found surprised me; the report suggests that most Americans have a lukewarm relationship with the world of electronic gadgets.

A good place to start would be the television market. If you listen to the media, Americans are glued to their TV sets every night during prime time, and the forecast for 2010 was that 3D would be everywhere. According to Neilsen's report, that didn’t end up being the case.

While 31% of Americans own 4 or more televisions, almost 60% said they did not intend to purchase a 3DTV. That’s a sizable number. I wonder if that will change with the emerging technology? 3D might be more appealing if we don’t need to be wearing awkward glasses in our living rooms and there was less risk of a seizure. Regular television seems as popular as ever, with the average American spending almost as much time watching as working full-time (no giant spikes in 2010, though).

The information Nielsen presented about mobile technology surprised me the most. I’d heard that only 31% of Americans used smartphones (or something similar to that figure), but I didn’t really believe it as such. Maybe I move in technology-oriented circles, but a sizable portion of the phones I see around me are smartphones. Living in New England, I actually am often shocked that I don’t see more feature phones. If you go to any large restaurant in Boston, for instance, you’ll see at least one iPhone, probably more. Maybe New England is ahead of the curve for once.

Not surprising to me is that text messaging is on the rise. I only have to look into the vehicle next to me on the highway to see that. I’m interested to see how emerging voice to text technology takes root in mobile texting in 2011. With states like MA already banning texting while you drive, it might be the best way to go (not to mention the safest, besides waiting until you reach your destination).

With RIM and its Blackberry still holding a sizable chunk of the smartphone presence, seeing that email accounts for 38.5% of mobile broadband usage isn’t unexpected. With the gains in iOS and Android in the corporate world (and Exchange integration), I see this percentage rising if smartphones are more readily adopted. We’ll have to see at the end of this year how the numbers hold up. With budget smartphones popping up everywhere and pre-pay plans available, it seems that the smartphone is going to be the product saturating the mobile market this year. Again, though, I was surprised to see only 31% using smartphones in 2010, though, so I’m not betting my shirt on it.

I know I’ll be interested to see how this looks in 2011. Where do you fit in according to the numbers Nielsen presented?

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