US Households Have More Devices Than Humans
March 19, 2013

Chances Are, You Have More Devices At Home Than Human Bodies

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

It´s finally happened. The machines have taken over.

The number crunchers at the NPD Group now say the typical American household has more Internet-connected devices residing inside than people. While PCs remain a mainstay in American homes, NPD says this insurgence is led by tablet sales.

All told, there are an estimated half billion of these connected devices in US houses.

The Connected Home Report, which was conducted by the NPD Group, has found the average household has 5.7 connected devices. It was only three months ago the NPD Group predicted there to be 5.3 devices per household. It´s a bit of growth the report attributes to tablets, saying there are now 18 million more tablets in use than there were just three months ago.

As the number of smartphone users grows, so too does the number of these devices in the home. Last October, Strategy Analytics issued a report which claimed one in every seven people across the world now own a smartphone, placing the grand total just over one billion.

Smartphones have a strong showing in the US as well, and NPD now says the number of smartphones in US homes has increased by 9 million over the past three months.

The Connected Home Report also says the majority of these smartphones bear one of two brands: Apple and Samsung.

As far as tablets are concerned, NPD says Apple “continues to dominate” the tablet market, with Samsung coming in second. This claim is quite a bit different from numbers released by IDC just last week which found the gap between Android and iOS devices to be much narrower. IDC believes this gap will soon close and Android tablet makers such as Samsung will claim 48.8 percent of the global market, leaving Apple with 41 percent.

Yet, no matter how popular these tablets have become, NPD finds PCs remain a popular fixture in American homes.

“Even with this extraordinary growth in the smartphone and tablet market, PCs are still the most prevalent connected device in US Internet households, and this is a fact that won´t be changing any time soon,” says John Buffone, the director of NPD´s Connected Intelligence group, which conducted the research.

“However, when you look at the combined number of smartphones and tablets consumers own, for the first time ever it exceeded the installed base of computers.”

The Connected Home Report doesn´t give specifics about which devices are most often used to connect to the Internet, listing only devices which are capable and ready.

It´s an important distinction. While many American households still own a PC, it´s not known if these PCs are in active use or if they´ve been relegated to the back room of the house and used to backup the newer and sleeker smartphones and tablets.

NPD estimates 93 percent of all US homes have a PC setup, a number which has not seen the same dramatic shift over the past three months as smartphones and tablets.

Buffone says even though smartphone and tablet numbers have grown significantly over the past three months, he believes these numbers will only get higher.

“It´s hard to believe that tablets and smartphones are still somewhat in their infancy,” said Buffone. “But as we have seen in just the past few months, there is significant potential for this market to develop further.”