Tuesday, 5 March 2013

iYogi Research Shows Americans Spend More on Internet than Light

We love our gadgets. Today, number of gadgets usually tops the count of members in a family of four. The increasing use of gadgets is a clear indication of tech adaptation in our lifestyle. A recent survey by iYogi shows that Americans spend more on technology bills than on utilities like heating, cooling, light, hot water, gas. Does it mean that US consumers need to stay connected via technology more than maintaining insulation in their homes? Here are the findings of the iYogi survey.

Increased rate of technology adoption 
A recent study conducted by iYogi reveals that Americans spend around 6% to 12% of their income on energy and other utility bills. However, when it comes to technology costs, Americans shell a greater amount of their income on it. With the advent of technological advancements, an average couple owns 7 devices while families of four members own about 11 electronic devices combining television, computer, Smartphone, tablets among others, as studied by iYogi Insights. Earlier, one household would own one TV and the entire family would share one computer. Now, every family member has his or her own computer. But it is not only the computer, there is one Smartphone or tablet per family member and often one member posses extra Smartphone or computer as Smartphone devices are emerging to become a ‘must have’ devices to simplify and organize their life.

Types of costs included in technology bills 
In order to make use of these Internet enabled devices and media streaming services on television, Americans take up plans that combine TV, Internet, fixed phone and mobile phone services. In addition to Internet and DTH services, many households incur expenses on cloud services for data backup services. Combining all these costs, their technology bills are found out to surpass their utility expenses. Around 63% of Americans have admitted to spend 35% more on technology bills than utility bills.    

Type of electronic devices rule technology costs

  • Desktop PC 
  • Notebook and netbook computers
  • Smartphone
  • Tablets and E-readers such as Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble nook among others
  • Gaming consoles including Microsoft XBOX 360 and Kinect, Sony PlayStation 3 and Vita, Wii 
  • Printers, scanners etc. 

Expenses on Internet based services of a family budget

  • Cable television services 
  • VoIP plans connected to fixed phones 
  • Data, voice and text plans for mobile phones and Smartphone 
  • Internet service provider (ISP) service to connect your PC to computer at home, office, restaurants 
  • Media streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, Hulu Plus, iTunes etc.  
  • Data backup subscription plans of Apple iCloud, Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox among others. 

Which devices Americans make utmost use of to stay connected?
The research done by iYogi has shown that mobile phones and Smartphone top the chart of devices used to stay connected. Hence, their monthly expenses on mobile phones trump all other electronic devices in use. iYogi carried out the survey on about 1100 iYogi subscribers to analyze their technology usage  and a large percentage of survey respondents have revealed their upmost dependence on mobile phones to stay connected via chat, messaging, video conference, or calls than computer or other devices.

Spending on mobile phones of a household 
iYogi survey has revealed that Americans spend about $94 on their mobile phones every month. Their highest share of technology costs take in mobile services. In addition to the $94 spent on the mobile services per month, they spend extra of about $19 per month on downloading mobile content such as games, music, movies etc. About 60% of iYogi survey respondents have revealed to use voice and data services for mobile devices.

What kind of voice and data plan packages people subscribe for? 
When surveyed by iYogi, half of the 1100 iYogi subscribers have revealed to use Triple Play packages. Triple Play packages include combined voice and data services for Internet, TV and phone. Remaining survey respondents use different types of voice and data plans with –

  • 17% respondents use combined plan for Internet and TV
  • 16% choose two Internet connections for two devices and phone service 
  • About 1% said to use TV and phone services

Triple Play packages may not offer best quality connectivity service, but offer the convenience of combining connectivity services for multiple devices from a service provider. Thus, Triple Play packages subscribers can avoid the complexity of maintaining and tracking separate bills from separate service providers. That’s why Triple Play packages are more in demand than other voice and data plans for enabling users to enjoy diverse types of connectivity options including TV, phone and Internet.

More people depend on cloud service for data backup 
According to the iYogi survey, about 30% people started adopting online cloud based data backup services even though cloud services are still relatively a new concept. And the adoption rate continues to increase as users feel more comfortable in using cloud computing services. An extraordinary increasing rate was witnessed last year with the release of Apple iCloud Amazon’s Cloud Drive, and Dropbox which are steadily becoming popular. 30% of iYogi survey respondents who are using any of these cloud computing services spend about $10 per month.

However, messaging services used to stay connected is still very much in use. iYogi survey shows that about 30% spend in Instant Messaging applications which dominate the chart of app downloads, music download, movies download and downloading games. What do you think of this iYogi survey on surpassing expenditure on technology bills than on utility bills? Do you agree with these figures and explanations? If your technology costs are eating up your family budget, what strategies have you adopted to check technology expenses? Share with us below.

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