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Smartphones Could Reach TV Ownership Rates Within 5 Years: CTA

1 in 5 U.S. homes have a TV 60 inches or larger

A display trifecta now dominates consumer tech ownership.

In releasing its annual “Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study,” the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) revealed that smartphones are owned in 87 percent of U.S. homes, second only to TVs (96 percent).

The study, now in its 20 year, also shows that laptops have made their way into the top three (72 percent), marking the first time that screen devices ranked as the three most-frequently owned tech products.

“‘The Three Screens — TVs, smartphones and notebook computers — now dominate the kinds of tech devices Americans have in their home, speaking to consumers’ desire to be connected and entertained, anytime and anywhere,” said Steve Koenig, CTA market research VP. “The rapid ascent of smartphone ownership in U.S. households exemplifies the versatility of these devices — for communication, for entertainment, for productivity and more. And because of that, it’s possible we’ll see smartphone ownership in the U.S. match that of TVs within the next five years.”

As for TVs, ownership of 4K Ultra HD TVs grew 15 percent vs. last year, with 31 percent of U.S. homes having one. One in five households (19 percent) own a TV with a screen size of 60 inches or bigger, said CTA. Forty-five percent of homes own a digital streaming device, up 9 points from last year.

See: Samsung Studies What Shoppers, And Retailers, Want In TVs

Smart speakers, meanwhile, ranked as one of the fastest-adopted technologies since tablets, said CTA, with 22 percent of American households owning one. Smart watches are also growing, up 6 percent vs. last year and reaching 18 percent ownership.

Ownership rates of drones and virtual reality headsets were measured at 10 and 11 percent of households, respectively.

“It’s no surprise that emerging categories such as smart speakers and VR are among the products consumers anticipate buying the most,” said Ben Arnold, CTA innovation and trends senior director. “Many of these devices incorporate new technologies and features — artificial intelligence, voice recognition, faster processing — and at the same time provide a smarter way to communicate or experience content.”

CTA marked the 20 anniversary of the study with a reminder of the five most-frequently owned products from 1998: color TVs, VCR decks, cordless phones, telephone answering devices and home CD players.

Data for this year’s study was collected via telephone interviews with 2,016 U.S. adults between Feb. 22 and March 5.

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