Smartphones, smart TVs, and smartwatches posted the only significant gains in device ownership in H1 2020.
Smartphone ownership in the US is finally achieving a level one would expect in a leading digital nation. According to GlobalWebIndex, 94.9% of internet users ages 16 to 64 polled in H1 2020 owned a smartphone, compared with 91.9% in H1 2019.
Smart TV ownership also climbed 3 percentage points to 46.2% of internet users this year. Yet the US does lag several other developed nations by this measure. In the UK, for example, 49.6% of respondents said they owned a smart TV in H1 2020; in Spain and Germany, those shares were 50.1% and 50.8%, respectively.
Meanwhile, penetration of some key devices declined in the US between H1 2019 and H1 2020. The share of survey respondents who owned a desktop or laptop slipped from 78.5% to 76.6%, while tablet ownership dropped from 51.1% to 49.4%. This was a pattern repeated in numerous countries surveyed by GlobalWebIndex.
Smartwatches did gain fans during the year, lifting penetration to 15.2% of internet users. More than 10% of respondents owned a smart wristband, and nearly 20% owned a smart home product, such as an energy consumption monitor. Affluent internet users and those ages 16 to 34 were most likely to own a smartwatch; affluents and suburbanites were most likely to have a smart home device.
Several other digital devices seemed neither more nor less popular than in H1 2019. These included games consoles (cited by 38.8%) and TV streaming sticks (34.9%).