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Gadgets -Nielsen Survey: Americans Sticking with Their Basic Gadgets

January 12, 2011

Nielsen Survey: Americans Sticking with Their Basic Gadgets

By Tammy Wolf
TMCnet Copy Editor

Do you and your electronics have a healthy, blooming relationship? Or, could you describe it as a fickle, rollercoaster type of bond that is filled with much frustration, or even indifference?

Much like personal relationships, Americans can become complacent, even with the array of devices on the market to choose from. One would think that with the influx of mobile phones, TV viewing options, and increasing capabilities in terms of access to content, most of the U.S. would be jumping to get the next best thing.

However, a recent Nielsen Survey revealed the complete opposite. In fact, Americans stuck with what was familiar in 2010, rather than giving new technologies, such as 3D TV or smartphone devices, a chance.

According to the survey, out of the 31 percent of U.S. residents that own four or more televisions, more than half (60 percent) said they did not plan on purchasing a 3D-TV. Still, TV is just as popular, as Americans spend as much time in front of the TV as they do working full-time.

Perhaps 3D isn’t appealing to consumers due to its requirement for special 3D glasses, which can cost as much as $150. As reported by TMCnet, barely two dozen 3D Blu-ray titles were expected to reach the market by the end of 2010. In addition, industry analysts expected only 1.6 million 3D-TV sets to actually be shipped in North America in all of last year.

When it came to mobile technology last year, Americans stuck with simple. According to the survey, only 31 percent of Americans used smartphones in 2010. With e-mail accounting for 38.5 percent of mobile broadband usage, this number is predicted to rise as the corporate world continues to use operating systems by RIM’s BlackBerry (News - Alert) or the Apple (and now the Verizon) iPhone (News - Alert).

Almost 3 in 10 consumers surveyed said they were planning on buying a 4G device within the next 12 months, as reported by TMCnet. While most consumers are aware of the differences between a 3G and 4G device, it seems that faster speeds aren’t the No. 1 priority when it comes to picking a mobile phone. With the low numbers shown for smartphone users last year, it’s hard to tell whether that will change for 2011. However, with the release of the iPhone 4 onto the Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless network, maybe more mobile consumers will change their minds.

Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. Previously she was assistant to the editor at The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper in Darien, Conn., where she edited submissions, did page layout and design and helped manage the newspaper's website. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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