Number of Internet-Connected Devices in U.S. Homes Surpasses Half a Billion

Published On June 3, 2013 | Electronics

As smartphones and tablets joined laptops and desktop PCs, it only made sense that consumers would keep adding Internet-enabled devices to their homes. Like many families own multiple cars, many also have multiple mobile devices. It’s becoming more common for multiple members of a family to have their own smartphone, and sharing computers has become a thing of the past for some households.

In early 2013, research firm NPD confirmed that Americans now have more than half a billion connected devices. For a country of 313 million persons, that’s almost two devices per individual.

Samsung and Apple are among the leaders in the tech industry according to the recent survey. The companies have achieved success with the likes of the iPhone and iPad and the Galaxy S smartphone series. However, the most popular devices still include PCs.

That doesn’t mean that consumers don’t have plenty of choices when it comes to connected devices. E-readers like Amazon’s Kindle and the Nook by Barnes and Noble provide options for consumers who don’t want a Google Nexus tablet. Even Android-powered portable media players and the iPod Touch is able to connect to any wireless access point in range, enabling users to download apps, chat, Facebook and check email from their palm-sized devices.

Despite the rate at which new technology seems to be catching on, not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. Less than 60 percent of cell phone owners have a smartphone and just over half of consumers have taken the plunge of investing in a tablet. Saturation is happening at a fast pace, however; it won’t take long before those numbers are much higher. Smartphones will see a greater increase in ownership than tablets.

In fact, while manufacturers such as Nokia still sell camera phones in other places in the world, Americans have their sights set forward. In a recent survey by Sage North America, 80 percent of respondents noted that they rely on their smartphones more than any other device to check business-related information when away from the office.

Perhaps consumers just prefer their devices smaller. International Data Corp provided results from a separate survey, which indicated that 50 percent of tablets sold are eight inches or smaller. This puts the iPad Mini and Kindle Fire on the fast track to success, while 10-inch tablets are left out in the cold. It was probably in Apple’s favor to release a smaller version of its original tablet for this very reason.

Of particular note is how well Android devices have done in the last year, and this trend is expected to continue now that these devices are coming out of their infancy. While Apple has had a few more years to develop its iPhone, other manufacturers are catching up, and the numbers show this.

With new devices hitting the market each month, the number of Internet-connected devices in U.S. homes could quickly hit one billion.

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