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High appetite for future tech purchases amid uncertainty

Smart home tech gains in ownership with buyers, says CTA study


One-third (31%) of U.S. homes are more likely to want to purchase tech products within the next year, despite the COVID-19 outbreak – according to a new Consumer Technology Association (CTA) study. Highlighting technology’s vital importance in consumer’s lives today and in the future, the study (fielded March 31 to April 6, 2020) examines household ownership and future purchase plans across 60+ consumer tech products.

Robot is cooking

“Consumers’ continued desire for new technology is strong and the value of tech has never been stronger,” said Steve Koenig, VP of research, CTA. “As the pandemic carries on, the impact on technology spending will remain in question, however, it’s clear that tech is indispensable in our lives.”

Smart home tech

Smart home technologies gained household penetration across most categories such as smart speakers, smart lightbulbs and smart doorbells. Crossing the threshold of more repeat purchases than first-time purchases, smart home products are now in high demand as people who already own the devices are likely to add smart peripherals to their home networks. The category with the highest penetration rate are smart speakers with 39% of U.S. households (an eight percentage point increase over last year) now owning a smart speaker. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, smart speaker demand remains high with 22% of households planning to purchase a device – 69% of which will be repeat owners and 31% will be first-time buyers.

Top tech people want

While purchase intentions do not always equate to actual purchases, over the next 12 months, the technologies garnering the greatest level of buying interest are portable battery chargers (39% of households), smartphones (36%) and wireless earbuds (27%). Also, within the list of top 10 technologies households plan to buy over the next year are TVs (24%), laptops (23%), smart speakers (22%) and home video game consoles (21%).

Smartphones follow TVs

When it comes to household ownership, once again topping the list of most-owned tech products are TVs, owned by 93% of U.S. homes (down two percentage points over last year). Smartphones are now owned by 92% of homes (up one percentage point from 2019) and could become the most-owned tech product – overtaking TVs – within the next year. Laptops round out the three most-owned tech devices with 76% household ownership.