Each month, our survey takes the pulse of American Affluents, tracking their attitudes, aspirations and anxieties. Our latest results find some stability in economic perspectives: optimists about the economy continue to narrowly outnumber pessimists, and most feel the recession is still a reality for themselves, their families, and the U. S as a whole.
Growing rapidly, in contrast, is the Affluent enthusiasm for new devices, and the integration of those devices into Affluent lives.
A word about methodology: Our barometer is conducted online each month with at least 1,000 Affluent Americans, defined as adults aged 18+ with household income (HHI) of at least $100,000. This 21% of U.S. households holds 70% of the net worth, and earns 60% of the household income. The survey also permits analysis of the Ultra Affluent – the approximately 2% of the population with $250K+ HHI. Unless otherwise noted, data in this article are from the April 2012 barometer.
Wireless phone ownership is nearly universal among the Affluent, and more than half now own a smartphone – among smartphone owners, 94% use it every day, and 74% tell us they would have difficulty living without it. Tablets are rapidly catching up, with 25% now owning a tablet, a figure that has essentially doubled over the past year; tablets are used daily by 67% of owners, and 29% would have difficulty living without it. Among the Ultra Affluent, the ownership figures are considerably higher, and their daily usage and “can’t live without” figures are somewhat higher as well.
Looking to the future, adoption and usage will likely continue to grow. For example, in addition to the 25% of Affluents who own a tablet, 14% plan to purchase one in the next 12 months, meaning that ownership could well surpass four-in-ten within a year.
Also expect a growing enthusiasm for media content, which both fuels and is fueled by the growing adoption of devices. Our March 2012 barometer found that 5% of Affluents bought an iPad 3 (technically just called the “new iPad”) within two weeks of its launch, with the top planned uses being personal in nature (as opposed to business-focused), and involving the consumption of media content: watching videos and movies, as well as reading books, magazines and newspapers.
The future may hold a single integrated device that meets all of one’s needs. But that future is not here today, as Affluents show all signs of continuing their adoption and usage of a range of devices.