Press Release | May 31, 2023

CTA Study: Smartphones Most-Owned Tech, 5G and Wireless Drive Adoption

by 
Jim Fellinger
  • CTA releases the 2023 U.S. Consumer Technology Ownership & Market Potential Study‚Äč
  • Overall demand for consumer tech products is expected to contract slightly in 2023
  • Ownership of wireless personal audio products now exceeds wired devices
  • Smartphones have surpassed TVs as the most-owned technology in U.S. households
  • Households are opting for discrete upgrades to their current vehicles
  • Cord-cutting accelerates as households embrace streaming content
Arlington, VA – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® released the 2023 U.S. Consumer Technology Ownership & Market Potential Study today, showing that despite complex economic times, 84% of U.S. households plan to purchase tech products in the next 12 months. Mobile and wireless tech products lead the categories of tech products consumers want to buy.

“Consumers want content and technology that works for them, no matter where they are,” said Jessica Boothe, Director of Market Research at CTA. “Enthusiasm for wireless and new content formats continue to grow as smartphones have become an integral part of our lives.”

The top five most owned consumer technology products ranked by U.S. Household penetration: Smartphone, television, notebook or laptop computer, headphones, earbuds.and Wireless Drive Adoption

Technology demand is stabilizing after a pandemic-driven surge. Across 80 products surveyed with comparable data to last year's study, there was an average decline of 3.7% in the percentage of households planning purchases in the next 12 months. This decline reflects a return to pre-pandemic levels.

Smartphones are ubiquitous in American households, and 37% of households plan to purchase a new smartphone in the next 12 months. Of those, 99% will be repeat buyers, indicating a saturated but loyal technology market. New devices like the Pixel Fold and iPhones for every budget are driving this trend.

TV is the most popular screen-based device in U.S. homes, with an estimated 259 million devices installed. Still, TV is increasingly competing with portable screens like smartphones (~255 million), tablets (~115 million) and laptops (~149 million), where users can view video in a variety of formats. 

Gaming continues its rise as one of the most popular activities, with more than half of households owning a gaming console. 26% of households plan to purchase a console in the next 12 months. Of those households, 25 million are interested in purchasing a current-generation console, such as the Xbox Series S/X or PlayStation 5.

Insights
  • Consumer demand for tech products is expected to contract slightly in 2023, with 84% U.S. households planning to purchase tech products in the next 12 months. The number of products consumers plan to purchase is down slightly (a decrease of 3.7% vs. 2022).
  • 5G-capable phones now represent almost two-thirds of all smartphones in owner households' possession.
  • Demand for wireless personal audio devices has not wavered — retailers can expect robust personal wireless audio sales. More than one-third (37%) of households show interest in purchasing them.
  • Digital media streaming device ownership has surged as the cord-cutting trend accelerates, with ownership jumping eight percentage points from 2022. These media streaming devices will help fuel an estimated $46 billion in consumer spending on video streaming services in 2023, according to CTA’s 2023 U.S. Consumer Technology Software & Services Forecast.
  • In the face of high interest and rising car prices, more households are opting for discrete upgrades to their current vehicles as opposed to a new and costlier car. Remote starters and dashcams lead purchase intent among first-time buyers, with an estimated 20 million new households expressing interest.
View the study abstract, sign up for CTA Research Insights, and look for CTA’s Canadian Ownership and Market Potential report in June.

Methodology
This annual survey is conducted among U.S. households to learn household ownership (penetration) and understand purchase intent for consumer technology products. The tracking study is completed among 10 technology product categories spanning 80-plus products to provide guidance for the industry on year-over-year trends, products to watch and innovation as new categories enter the market.

The research was administered as an online survey among 2,615 U.S. adults (18-plus) from April 3-25, 2023. The margin of sampling error at 95% confidence for aggregate results is +/-2%. The data was weighted to reflect the known demographics of the U.S. population as reported by U.S. census data, with estimates generalizable to the household level.