And when it comes to desktop or laptop ownership, there has actually been a small dip in the overall numbers over the last two years – from 78% in 2016 to 73% today.
Meanwhile, new connected devices continue to emerge. Consumer surveys show that the use of smart TVs and wearable devices has grown in recent years. Nearly half of Americans (46%) use digital voice assistants on smartphones or devices like Amazon Echo, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey. A host of items collectively called “the Internet of Things” – ranging from household thermostats and security systems to “smart city” transportation systems – are also coming on the market.
Interesting numbers from Pew Research here on the plateau that mobile device ownership and social media usage is currently experiencing here in the United States compared with the declining numbers of laptops and desktops. Steve Jobs predicted such a turn when introducing the iPad and the concept of mobile devices as "cars" and personal computers as "trucks." I personally drive a truck and I'll probably also need a heavy duty PC for years to come, but most people surely won't.
In fact, I don't think most people will have a device like a mobile phone in just a few years. We're rapidly seeing the transition from looking at a glass slab and tapping on electronic keyboards towards the next iteration of popular computing... voice. We'll have something like a Watch on our wrists or on our person and be connected to that via something like AirPods or wireless earbuds.
Whether we have augmented reality glasses or contacts is debatable, but there's no denying that we'll be doing much less typing and much more interaction with subtle grunts (hello, Enders Game!) or voice commands.
Our "computers" will be seemingly alive digital assistants that walk and grow with us and give us relevant information while performing background tasks that we now associate with pulling glass slabs out of our pocket while walking down the sidewalk. This transition will not take long based on the rapid acceleration of Google Assistant, Alexa, and especially Siri (Shortcuts in iOS 12 are simply stunning).
So as you think about your next marketing campaign or website, keep in mind that this is all changing rapidly and discernment and watching stats are key to not wasting money on last generation communication strategies.