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September 2015 Trends Tracker

Trends Tracker

Companies: AAPL, ADDYY, AMBA, AMZN, ANGI, CAR, CMCSA, CMG, COST, CSCO, DISH, FB, GOOG/GOOGL, GPRO, KR, KRX:005930, LNKD, MCD, NFLX, NKE, PNRA, S, SFTBF, SKX, SSYS, T, TMUS, TSE:QSR, TWC, TWTR, TWX, UA, USM, VZ, WEN, WFM, WMT, YELP, YUM


Click here to download the report (.pdf)

 

Summary of Findings

  • McDonald’s Corp.’s (MCD) turnaround may be starting sooner than later as 13.9% more of our survey respondents ate at its establishments this month than two months ago. The brand’s perception also is improving. 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to report a decline in visits to McDonald’s compared with two months ago.
  • Skechers USA Inc. (SKX) continues to see potential purchases grow; respondents 18 to 29 years old are twice as likely to purchase shoes from the company than they were two months ago.
  • The number of respondents using Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) as their main source of healthy/organic food dropped 28.5% compared with two months ago, and more reported flocking to local grocery chains, such as Kroger Co. (KR).
  • The number of respondents with pay-TV subscriptions and add-on services jumped more than 25% in six months, but cord cutting continues to grow. Netflix Inc. (NFLX) still is the most frequently adopted online TV streaming service, growing 15% compared with six months ago. Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) Instant Video experienced usage growth of 29%. Dish Network Corp.’s (DISH) Sling TV doubled in subscriptions since six months ago but remains limited in use.
  • The number of respondents who purchased a premade drone doubled to 3% in six months as they find more uses for the technology, specifically as an aerial camera. This will benefit Ambarella Inc. (AMBA) and GoPro Inc. (GPRO).

 

Introduction

Welcome to Blueshift Research’s 15th edition of the Trends Tracker in conjunction with Burnham Securities. This monthly research survey tracks the most pressing topics affecting U.S. consumers as well as business and investment theses. We monitor trends to see how respondents’ opinions evolve, and frequently update survey questions with new issues that emerge from our research and observations.

The September Trends Tracker comprises 1,039 respondents who represent a general sample of the U.S. public and who answered questions on Sept. 9 and 10. Blueshift utilized Census data to balance respondents by gender and age so that the sample aligns with the U.S. population. We added two new questions regarding consumers’ concern surrounding the development of artificial intelligence.

 

Location of Topics

  1. Fast-food/quick-serve restaurants
  2. Athletic/performance shoes
  3. Grocery aisle/organic food purchases
  4. Pay-TV/OTT/cord cutting
  5. Drones
  6. Rental car alternatives
  7. Social media use/social media ad purchases
  8. Smartphone/operating systems
  9. Online customer review sites
  10. 3D printers
  11. Internet providers
  12. Wireless carriers
  13. Edible insects
  14. Artificial intelligence

 

Topics

1) McDonald’s turnaround is beginning to happen among all age groups except millennials, who instead have increased their visits to Chipotle, Burger King, Taco Bell and Panera.

More respondents are eating at McDonald’s compared with two months ago although the number of 18- to 29-year-olds eating at the chain has declined. Respondents’ perceptions of McDonald’s also is improving as more respondents rated it as the best or better than most fast-food/quick-serve restaurants compared with last month. Also, fewer respondents compared with last month said they had not eaten at McDonald’s. The company is taking numerous steps to increase traffic to its restaurants, including offering an all-day breakfast menu that will be rolled out Oct. 6.

The lack of millennials frequenting McDonald’s was first pointed out in Blueshift’s July 15 report. This month’s survey found respondents ages 18 to 29 instead were going to Restaurant Brands International’s (TSE:QSR) Burger King, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG), Yum! Brands Inc.’s (YUM) Taco Bell, and Panera Bread Co. (PNRA). Chipotle plans to secure its position among millennials by introducing delivery to 40 college campuses through a partnership with Tapingo.

Subway’s (Doctor’s Associates Inc.) customer growth in the last two months was much more muted than for other leading restaurants, possibly because its former spokesperson, Jared Fogle, pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

 

Which fast-food/quick-serve restaurants have you eaten at in the past month? Select all that apply.

  • 45% ate at McDonald’s in the past month, a 5.5 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the only age group to eat at McDonald’s less often than two months ago.
  • 32.1% ate at Subway, a 1.5 percentage-point growth compared with two months ago.
    • Respondents 45 or older increased their number of visits to Subway compared with two months ago, while those younger than 45 visited Subway less often.
  • 25.4% ate at Wendy’s Co. (WEN), a 5.2 percentage-point growth compared with two months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the only age group to eat at Wendy’s less often than two months ago.
  • 25.3% ate at Taco Bell, a 1.3 percentage-point growth compared with two months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the top age group to eat at Taco Bell and increased their visits the most from two months ago.
  • 22.8% ate at Burger King, a 4.7 percentage-point growth compared with two months ago.
    • All age groups had more respondents eat at Burger King compared with two months ago, led by 18- to 44-year-olds. Specifically, visits by 18- to 29-year-olds increased 7.4 percentage points or 44%.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds increased their visits to Burger King more than to any other fast-food/quick-serve restaurant.
  • 18.8% ate at Chipotle, a 1.4 percentage-point growth compared with two months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds eating at Chipotle increased the most, up 6.4 percentage points or 25%.
  • 18.3% ate at Panera, a 1.2 percentage-point growth compared with two months ago.
    • All age groups ate at Panera more often compared with two months ago.
  • 10.9% have not eaten at any fast-food/quick-serve restaurants in the past month, a 4.3 percentage-point decrease compared with two months ago.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds were the only age group to have more respondents not eat at fast-food/quick-serve restaurants compared with two months ago.
  • 18- to 29-year-olds ate at an average 3.91 fast-food/quick-serve restaurants this month, more than any other age group.

 

How does McDonald’s compare to all other fast-food/quick-serve restaurants?

  • 44.4% think McDonald’s is on par with other fast-food/quick-serve restaurants, a 1 percentage-point increase compared with last month.
  • 16.1% think McDonald’s is better than most others or is the best fast-food/quick-serve restaurant, a 2.9 percentage-point increase compared with last month.
    • All age groups posted an increase from last month in the number of respondents who said McDonald’s is better than others or is the best fast-food/quick-serve restaurants.
  • 17% think McDonald’s is worse than most others or is the worst fast-food/quick-serve restaurant, a 2 percentage-point decrease compared with last month.
    • Those older than 60 were the only age group to post an increase in the number of respondents who believe McDonald’s is worse than others or is the worst fast-food/quick-serve restaurant compared with last month.
  • 22.5% of respondents do not eat at McDonald’s, a 1.9 percentage-point decrease compared with last month.

 

 

2) Skechers continues to see growth in athletic/performance shoe market, thanks to millennials.

32% more respondents than two months ago said they are likely to purchase Skechers shoes in the next six months, led by 18- to 29-year-olds who are twice as likely to make a Skechers purchase. Adidas AG (ADDYY) jumped back ahead of Skechers this month as the third most likely shoe to be purchased, possibly because of the upcoming sports season. Nike Inc. (NKE) remains the most sought-after athletic/performance shoe and received the greatest increase in mentions compared with two months ago. Purchases of athletic/performance shoes overall increased as well.

Skechers is ramping up its image as an athletic/performance shoe brand by becoming a multiyear sponsor of the LA marathon. However, the company also faces a lawsuit from Adidas after it launched a sneaker that looks similar to Adidas’ Stan Smith shoe.

 

Which athletic/performance shoe brand do you plan to buy in the next six months? Select all that apply.

  • 26.6% plan to buy Nike shoes in the next six months, a 4 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago.
    • All age groups increased their likelihood of purchasing Nike shoes, led by 18- to 29-year-olds.
  • 16.5% plan to buy New Balance shoes in the next six months, a 1.1 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds and those 60 or older were the only age groups to be more likely to purchase New Balance shoes compared with six months ago.
  • 11.7% plan to buy Adidas shoes in the next six months, a 2.2 percentage-point increase.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to be less likely to buy Adidas shoes compared with six months ago; 18- to 29-year-olds are now the most likely to purchase this brand.
  • 10.3% plan to buy Skechers in the next six months, a 2.5 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago.
    • Twice as many 18- to 29-year-olds are likely to purchase Skechers shoes compared with two months ago.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds are the only age group to report a lower likelihood of purchasing Skechers; those 60 or older now are the most likely to purchase the brand.
  • 4.4% plan to buy Under Armour Inc. (UA) shoes in the next six months, a 1.4 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago and a slight slowdown from August.
    • All age groups are more likely to make an Under Armour shoe purchase than they were two months ago, with 18- to 29-year-olds leading the charge.

 

 

3) Consumers are moving away from using Whole Foods as their main source of health/organic food. More respondents are flocking to local grocery chains such as Kroger.

Respondents said they have increased their use of local stores such as Kroger for most of their grocery shopping year to year. Specialty stores like Whole Foods are being used less often because healthy/organic food has become more prevalent at traditional grocery stores. Also, farmers markets saw a significant increase in mentions and now are respondents’ first source for organic food compared with two months ago, likely a seasonal outcome. Worth noting is the increase in respondents who reported not buying any organic food compared with two months ago.

Blueshift’s August 20 report showed Whole Foods struggling to overcome competition, high prices, and brand perception. The company will launch its “365” stores in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood; Bellevue, WA; Houston; Portland, OR; and Santa Monica in the second half of 2016 to take on lower-cost competition. Kroger has been noted as benefiting from the growing organic trend.

More than twice the number of 18- to 29-year-olds shop at big-box stores, such as Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), than at specialty stores. This may be related to income level; those earning less than $25,000 also reported shopping at big-box stores almost five times more often than at specialty stores.

 

Where do you shop for most of your groceries?

  • 63.2% shop at local grocery stores for most groceries, a 2 percentage-point increase compared with last year.
    • Respondents 44 or younger decreased their use of local grocery stores compared with a year ago, while those 45 or older increased their use.
    • Respondents making more than $50,000 are increasing their use of local stores year to year.
  • 21.9% shop at big-box retailers for most groceries, a 0.1 percentage-point decrease compared with last year.
    • Respondents 44 or younger increased their use of big-box stores compared with a year ago, and those 45 or older decreased their use.
    • Households making less than $50,000 or above $150,000 increased their use of big-box stores compared with a year ago.
  • 11% shop at specialty stores for most groceries, a 1.9 percentage-point decrease compared with last year.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to increase their use of specialty grocery stores compared with a year ago; this was a marginal increase of only 0.2 percentage points.
    • Households making $25,000 to $49,999 were the only income level to increase their use of specialty grocery stores compared with a year ago.

 

Where is the first place you go to buy healthy/organic food?

  • 21.7% said they do not buy healthy/organic food, a 2.4 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago.
  • 13.5% go to farmers markets for healthy/organic food, a 3.9 percentage-point growth.
  • 9.9% go to Whole Foods for healthy/organic food, a 4.6 percentage-point decrease.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to increase their use of Whole Foods for healthy/organic food.
    • All income levels except those making $25,000 to $49,999 decreased their use of Whole Foods compared with two months ago.
  • 9.3% go to Trader Joe’s for healthy/organic food, a 3.7 percentage-point decrease compared with two months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to increase their use of Trader Joe’s for healthy/organic food.
    • Households making $25,000 to $49,999 are the only income group to increase their use of Trader Joe’s.
  • 6.3% go to local grocers/co-ops for healthy/organic food, a 2.3 percentage-point decrease compared with two months ago.
  • 5.1% go to Kroger for healthy/organic food, a 0.2 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago.
    • All age groups except 45- to 59-year-olds increased their use of Kroger for healthy/organic food.
    • Households making $50,000 to $149,999 increased their use of Kroger for healthy/organic food
  • 4.2% go to Walmart for healthy/organic food, a 0.3 percentage-point decrease compared with two months ago.
    • Households making $25,000 to $49,999 were the only income level to increase their purchases of healthy/organic food at Walmart.

 

 

4) Pay-TV subscriptions with add-on services jumped more than 25% in six months, but cord cutting continues to grow.

The number of respondents with pay-TV subscriptions and add-on services increased again but at a greater rate this month, while those with basic services stayed the same as six months ago. We noted a significant decrease in respondents who have never had a pay-TV subscription, which could explain the rise in pay-TV subscriptions. Seasonality also may play a role, with the start of the football season and college roommates splitting bills.

At the same time, those canceling their pay-TV subscriptions in the last month increased 0.5 percentage points (or 56%) from six months ago. This supports reports of a rising rate of cord cutting, though it also shows a very low rate overall.

The number of respondents who are very or extremely likely to cancel their pay-TV subscriptions in the next six months dropped considerably compared with six months ago. 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to be more likely to cancel their pay-TV service in the next six months. Three-quarters of pay-TV respondents use an online streaming service, showing that a larger portion of subscribers are supplementing with online services.

Netflix is still the most frequently adopted online TV streaming service, growing 15% compared with six months ago. Amazon Instant Video experienced usage growth of 29%. Meanwhile, Dish Networks’ Sling TV doubled in subscriptions among respondents since its launch six months ago, though its use remains limited. Time Warner Inc.’s (TWX) HBO Now is experiencing some growing pains as its free trials wear off; respondents who reported using the service dropped 1.7 percentage points compared with the previous quarter. Still, HBO Go lessened the blow as it picked up 0.8 percentage points in the last six months. Those not using online streaming have decreased more than 25% in the last six months.

This month we added answer choices Crunchyroll, an anime-based online streaming service; Vudu; and Hulu Plus without ads, which was just rolled out to compete with Netflix and other noncommercial streaming services. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) also is entering the game with its Go90, which is in test phases as a mobile-only platform.

 

Do you use pay-TV in your household?

  • 36.2% use a pay-TV service with add-on services, a 7.9 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups saw an increase in this category from six months ago; older respondents still are the most likely to have pay-TV with add-on services.
  • 34.8% of respondents use basic pay-TV service, the same as six months ago.
  • 17.9% have never had a pay-TV service, an 8.1 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups saw a decrease in this category compared with six months ago; 18- to 29-year-olds still are the most likely to have never had a pay-TV service.
  • 9.7% canceled their pay-TV service more than a month ago, a 0.3 percentage-point decrease.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds are the top age group to have canceled their pay-TV subscription more than a month ago.
    • 30- to 60-year-olds have increased the rate that they canceled their pay-TV services more than a month ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds and those 60 or older decreased the rate at which they canceled their pay-TV subscription.
  • 1.4% canceled their pay-TV service in the past month, up 0.5 percentage points compared with six months ago.

 

How likely are you to cancel your pay-TV subscription in the next six months for online streaming services only?

  • 8.5% are very or extremely likely to cancel their pay-TV subscription in the next six months, a 1.7 percentage-point (or 16.7%) decrease quarter to quarter.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to cancel their pay-TV subscription in the next six months, while all other age groups are less likely to do so.
    • Respondents making $25,000 to $49,999 or above $100,000 are more likely to cancel their pay-TV subscription in the next six months compared with the previous quarter.

 

Which online streaming TV services do you use?

  • 56.5% of respondents use Netflix, a 7.4 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups increased their adoption of Netflix compared with six months ago, with 18- to 29-year-olds in the lead.
  • 26.4% of respondents use Amazon Instant Video, a 6 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups increased their adoption of Amazon Instant Video compared with six months ago, with 18- to 29-year-olds taking the lead position from 30- to 44-year-olds.
  • 13.2% of respondents use Hulu, a 0.3 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • Respondents 45 or older are increasing their use of Hulu, while those 44 or younger are decreasing their use of the service. 18- to 29-year-olds remain the age group to use Hulu.
  • 10.3% of respondents use HBO Go, a 0.8 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • Respondents 44 or younger are increasing their use of HBO Go, led by 18- to 29-year-olds, while those 45 or older are decreasing their use of the service.
  • 9.4% of respondents use Hulu Plus, the same as six months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds remain the group to use Hulu Plus the most, but they, 30- to 44-year-olds and those 60 or older decreased their use of the service over the last six months.
  • 3.5% of respondents use HBO Now, a 1.7 percentage-point decrease quarter to quarter.
    • All age groups have decreased their use of the service quarter to quarter.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds use HBO Now the most out of all age groups.
  • 1.8% of respondents use Sling TV, a 0.9 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • 30- to 59-year-olds are increasing their use of Sling TV, while 18- to 29-year-olds and those 60 or older reported lower usage of the service.
  • 0.8% of respondents use Hulu Plus without ads.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds have used Hulu Plus without ads the most out of all age groups.
  • 23.3% do not use online streaming TV services, an 8.6 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
    • Households making $100,000 to $149,999 are the most likely to not use any streaming services and are the only income level to be more likely than six months ago to not have any online streaming services.

 

 

5) Ownership of premade drones has doubled in six months as consumers find more benefits from the devices. Ambarella and GoPro are likely to benefit.

The number of respondents who purchased a premade drone doubled to 3% in six months. Drone use in businesses grew by 66.7% in the same period while those building their own drones dropped by 33.3%. All age groups and all income levels are embracing the new technology more so than six months ago.

Drones’ main attraction is the attached camera, which presents significant potential for GoPro and Ambarella. Blueshift’s Aug. 21 report on Ambarella echoed this for the company’s 4K products, but also found it will face steep pricing pressure from competitors in the high-end consumer side.

Drones are moving into mainstream markets, including in education and farming. Drone racing is another avenue. ESPN has reported on this, saying that the sport has huge potential in the United States.

 

Do you own a drone?

  • 4.6% own or have used a drone, a 1.6 percentage point (or 53%) growth compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups (led by 18- to 29-year-olds) have increased their purchases and use of drones.
    • All household income levels (particularly $0 to $24,999) have increased their purchases and use of drones.
  • 3% own a premade drone, a 100% growth compared with six months ago.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds own the most premade drones, followed by 18- to 29-year-olds.
  • 1% of respondents used a drone at work/for business, a 66.7% growth compared with six months ago.
    • Younger respondents are the most likely to use a drone for work.
  • 0.6% of respondents have built their own drone, a 33.3% decrease compared with six months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to build their own drones.

 

 

6) Rental car use increases slightly while usage of alternatives slips.

Uber remains the top-used alternative to rental car services, but all rental car alternatives except Avis Budget Group Inc.’s (CAR) Zipcar saw a decrease in usage compared with two months ago. Rental car services still outnumber each alternative. Uber and Lyft are expanding their territories in Nevada as the state has approved regulations. To continue gaining customers, Zipcar is broadening its one-way program. Meanwhile, Lyft is expanding its services in China with a deal with Didi Kuaidi. The deal also will allow Didi Kuaidi to operate in the United States. Rental car alternatives are starting to see some competition from app-based taxi services, such as Cabsolutely in Tennessee.

 

Which services have you used instead of a car rental in the last three months? Select all that apply.

  • 18.1% of respondents only used rental car services, a 0.1 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds are now the most likely to use only rental car services, as this age group and 18- to 29-year-olds increased their use of rental car services compared with two months ago.
  • 13.6% have used Uber instead of a car rental service, a 3 percentage-point drop compared with two months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds used Uber the most and have increased their use of the service. All other age groups decreased their use of the service compared with two months ago.
  • 12.4% used taxis instead of a car rental service, a 4 percentage-point drop compared with two months ago.
  • 2.7% used Lyft instead of a car rental service, a 0.7 percentage-point drop compared with two months ago.
    • Twice as many 45- to 59-year-olds used Lyft than two months ago, although 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to use the service.
  • 1.6% used Zipcar instead of a car rental service, a 0.1 percentage-point increase compared with two months ago.

 

 

7) Instagram has helped Facebook boost ad-related consumer spending, and Facebook continues to dominate respondents’ social media platform selection.

Respondents’ use of Facebook Inc. (FB) is down year to year, but subsidiary Instagram showed more than 25% growth. Facebook is losing users 18 to 29 years old on its main platform but is gaining them back on Instagram. Twitter Inc. (TWTR) saw some increased use from a year ago, particularly among those 30 to 44 years old. LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) experienced a drop in respondents using its service.

Facebook remains the most popular social media platform through which to make an ad-related purchase. However, the number of respondents making these purchases dropped compared with six months ago. Still, Instagram experienced twice as many ad-related purchases than six months ago. This data point dovetails well with Blueshift’s April 15 report, which stated that Instagram and video ads would boost Facebook’s advertising business in 2015. Facebook announced on Sept. 9 that it is rolling out ads through Instagram in 30 other countries. It also is ramping up its ad-targeting algorithm by linking its “like” and “share” buttons on business pages to consumers’ web browsing history. This will allow ads to be targeted specifically to consumers on Facebook, Instagram and their mobile apps.

 

Which social media platform do you use the most?

  • 57% of respondents use Facebook the most, a 1.9 percentage-point decrease compared with a year ago.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds are the most likely to use Facebook.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds and those 60 or older have decreased their use of the platform.
  • 5% of respondents use LinkedIn the most, a 1.3 percentage-point decrease compared with a year ago.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds are the primary age group to use LinkedIn but have decreased their use of the service.
    • Respondents above the age of 60 were the only age group to increase their use of LinkedIn.
  • 4% of respondents use Instagram the most, a 0.9 percentage-point increase compared with a year ago and the biggest increase of all social media sites.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to use Instagram and have increased their use of the site the most.
    • Those 60 or older also have increased their use of Instagram, slowly discovering the service.
  • 3.8% of respondents use Twitter the most, a 0.3 percentage-point increase compared with last year.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds are the primary users of Twitter and have increased their usage of the site the most.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to decrease their use of the platform compared with a year ago.
  • 3.2% of respondents use Pinterest the most, a 0.4 percentage-point increase compared with last year.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds use Pinterest the most out of all age groups.
    • Respondents 59 or younger have increased their use of Pinterest over the last year.
  • 2.6% use Google Inc.’s (GOOG/GOOGL) Google+ the most, a 1.8 percentage-point decrease compared with last year.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds use Google+ the most.
    • Respondents over the age of 45 have decreased their use of Google+, while those 44 or younger have increased their use of the service.

 

 

Have you bought any products through a social media ad?

  • 13.3% have bought a product through a social media ad, down 1.9 percentage points compared with six months ago.
    • Although younger respondents are the most likely to make a purchase through a social media ad, older respondents have increased such purchases.
    • Lower-income households are most likely to make a purchase through a social media ad, while all income levels have decreased their purchases through social media ads.
  • 8.4% have bought a product through a Facebook ad, down 2.1 percentage points compared with six months ago.
  • 0.9% have bought a product through an Instagram ad, a 0.5 percentage-point increase.

 

 

8) iPhone domination of the smartphone space grows, while iOS gains on Android.

Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone still is the most owned smartphone in the United States. It is followed by Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX:005930), which experienced more growth among respondents year to year. Younger respondents are the most likely to have an iPhone, and their adoption rate increased more than any other age group. To keep pace with the competition, Apple released the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus on Sept. 25. Analysts are mixed on if the new releases will break the sale of 10 million iPhone 6 phones during opening weekend last year. Apple struck a deal to integrate Cisco Systems Inc.’s (CSCO) system into iPhones and iPads, allowing companies running Cisco’s Internet networks to quickly and securely transfer content. This move will give Apple a bigger corporate audience.

iOS is increasingly eating away at all other operating systems’ market share. Android’s (Google) lead in the OS market is still intact but has declined compared with last quarter. Younger respondents run more iOS phones, whereas 45- to 59-year-olds are the most likely to run an Android OS. ComScore also has reported that Android usage in the United States is slipping as iPhones sales continue to rise.

 

Who made the smartphone you currently own?

  • 39.8% of respondents own a smartphone made by Apple, a 3.8 percentage-point increase year to year.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the most likely to own an iPhone.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds are the only age group to decrease their ownership of iPhones year to year.
    • Wealthier households are more likely to own an iPhone.
    • Households making $0 to $49,999 or $100,000 to $149,999 have increased their ownership of iPhones year to year.
  • 26.3% of respondents own a smartphone made by Samsung, a 3.2 percentage-point increase year to year.
    • Respondents making $0 to $24,999 are the most likely to use a Samsung smartphone. All household income levels except $25,000 to $49,999 have increased their adoption of Samsung phones year to year.
  • 14.1% of respondents do not own a smartphone, a 7.7 percentage-point decrease year to year.

 

What type of operating system does your phone run?

  • 48% of respondents’ phones use an Android OS, a 0.7 percentage-point decrease compared with last quarter.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds are most likely to have an Android OS, and they were the only age group to increase the use of the Android OS.
    • Households making $50,000 to $99,999 or $150,000 or more have increased their use of Android’s OS.
  • 44.9% of respondents use iOS, a 4.4 percentage-point increase compared with last quarter.
    • All age groups increased their use of iOS, led by 18- to 29-year-olds.
    • All income levels except those making more than $150,000 increased their use of iOS.

 

 

9) Respondents are gaining trust in Yelp and LivingSocial but are losing trust in all other sites and in consumer reviews in general.

Yelp Inc. (YELP) is the most trusted source for consumer reviews. It and LivingSocial have gained more trust among respondents compared with six months ago. Still, more than a third of respondents do not trust any online consumer reviews on merchants, an increase compared with six months ago. 18- to 29-year-olds were the most likely to trust online consumer review sites, specifically Yelp and Google. Yelp increased the types of places (including hospitals) that consumers can review with its deal with ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom corporation. Yelp also has created a way for former inmates to review prisons. Meanwhile, Yelp is fighting off complaints about how it runs its services. A Massachusetts jeweler is trying to sue a Yelp reviewer while a merchant is suing Yelp for changing reviews. To help pull respondents toward its platform for consumer reviews, Facebook revealed that it updated its specialized pages for mobile devices to allow merchants to add customized maps, customer reviews and business highlights.

 

Which site do you trust the most for consumer reviews on merchants?

  • 35.5% do not trust consumer reviews on merchants, a 3.4 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are the only age group to trust consumer reviews more compared with six months ago.
  • 23.8% trust Yelp for consumer reviews on merchants, a 1 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • Respondents over the age of 45 trust Yelp more compared with six months ago.
  • 19.6% trust Google for consumer reviews on merchants, a 1.3 percentage-point decrease.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to decrease their trust in consumer reviews on Google.
  • 7.1% of respondents trust Angie’s List Inc. (ANGI) for reviews on merchants, a 0.5 percentage-point decrease.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to increase their trust in Angie’s List.
  • 4% trust Facebook for merchant reviews, a 1.3 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds and respondents older than 60 increased their trust in reviews listed on Facebook.

 

 

10) The number of 18- to 29-year-olds using 3D printers and purchasing 3D printed items has increased, but respondents’ overall intent to buy a 3D printer is down.

3D printer use among respondents decreased slightly compared with six months ago, though use is growing among 18- to 29-year-olds. Respondents purchasing 3D printed items and reporting interest in 3D printing at home also decreased Those very or extremely likely to purchase a 3D printer for less than $400 dropped compared with six months ago. Interest in low-cost 3D printers is up only among 45- to 59-year-olds and those making $100,000 to $149,999.

A lot of the advancements, focus and improvements in 3D printers have been made for medical purposes, whether it be the first FDA-approved 3D printed medicine from Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, 3D printed guides to help nerve regrowth, or 3D printed titanium ribs and prosthetic hands. 3D printer makers, such as Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS), also are trying to grow on the manufacturing side and are moving 3D printing from prototype to the end-use product. A few reasons for the low uptick among consumers are the lack of knowledge of basic engineering and programming needed to use the 3D printer. Also, the printers themselves can be finicky. Crowd-funded companies or startups seem to be focused on the consumer side. The Print+ project on Kickstarter will provide everything but the 3D printed parts for homemade headphones.

 

Have you used a 3D printer in the last three months?

  • 4.9% of respondents have used a 3D printer, a 0.4 percentage-point drop compared with six months ago.
    • Interestingly, all age groups except 30- to 44-year-olds have increased their use of 3D printers.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds increased their use of 3D printers by 0.7 percentage points (9.5%) from six months ago and are now the most common users of 3D printers.
    • Households making $25,000 to $49,999 are the only income level to increase their use of 3D printers.
  • 2% have purchased a 3D printed item, a 0.5 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds were the only age group to increase their purchases of 3D printed items. More than twice as many 18- to 29-year-olds have made such purchases than six months ago.

 

If you could get a 3D printer for less than $400 for your home, how likely would you be to buy one in the next 12 months?

  • 8.7% of respondents would be very or extremely likely to get a 3D printer for their home if it were less than $400, a 2.4 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to have more respondents saying they are very or extremely likely to buy a 3D printer under $400 compared with six months ago.
    • Younger respondents remain the most likely to make a 3D printer purchase if less than $400.
    • Households making $100,000 to $149,999 are the only income level to increase their likelihood of purchasing a 3D printer if it was less than $400.

 

 

11) Comcast remains respondents’ most used Internet provider. Time Warner Cable is the only one losing subscribers and has seen its satisfaction rating fall. Verizon has the most satisfied customers.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) remains the top Internet provider used by respondents, followed by AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC). Time Warner Cable was the only one of the four to see a decrease in the number of respondents using its service, and its satisfaction rating is in free fall. The other three also experienced lower satisfaction ratings, but Verizon still holds the highest score. This may have to do with Verizon’s Internet speeds being faster than others’ during peak hours. Google experienced some subscription cuts, most likely because of competitors changing prices and offering higher-speeds. Comcast will spend $300 million during the next three years to improve service.

 

Who is your current Internet provider?

  • 22.9% have Comcast as their Internet provider, a 0.5 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
  • 15% have AT&T as their Internet provider, a 0.7 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
  • 11.1% have Verizon as their Internet provider, a 0.7 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
  • 11% have Time Warner Cable as their Internet provider, a 2.2 percentage-point decrease.
  • 1% have Google as their Internet provider, a 0.7 percentage-point decrease.

 

How satisfied are you with your Internet service?

  • 46.3% are very or extremely satisfied, a 0.5 percentage-point increase compared with six months ago.
    • 60.9% are very or extremely satisfied with their Verizon Internet service, a 1.9 percentage-point decrease.
    • 48.1% are very or extremely satisfied with their AT&T Internet service, a 0.6 percentage-point decrease.
    • 41.9% are very or extremely satisfied with their Comcast Internet service, a 1.1 percentage-point decrease.
    • 28.5% are very or extremely satisfied with their Time Warner Internet service, an 11.5 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.

 

 

12) Verizon remains dominant in the wireless carrier space and has distanced itself from AT&T, which is losing subscribers year to year. T-Mobile has posted gains through Metro PCS.

Verizon increased its lead over AT&T year to year. Lower-cost alternatives to the big 4 also experienced growth as respondents sought out cheaper options, specifically U.S. Cellular Corp. (USM). T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) has solidified itself as the third largest carrier over Sprint Corp. (S), and also is making gains through its subsidiary Metro PCS, which had 13% subscriber growth year to year thanks to its prepaid plans. To keep its lead, Verizon will start testing super-fast 5G networks next year and has planned for a complete rollout by 2017. The remaining wireless carriers are planning a similar network rollout but not until 2020, showing how far ahead Verizon is.

 

Who is your current wireless carrier?

  • 37.2% of respondents use Verizon as their wireless carrier, a 1.5 percentage-point increase year to year.
  • 27.5% of respondents use AT&T as their wireless carrier, a 4.2 percentage-point decrease year to year.
  • 8% of respondents use T-Mobile as their wireless carrier, the same year to year.
  • 7.6% of respondents use Sprint as their wireless carrier, a 0.5 percentage-point decrease year to year.
  • 2.4% of respondents use U.S. Cellular as their wireless carrier, a 1.5 percentage-point increase year to year.

 

 

13) Respondents’ likelihood of purchasing an insect-based product has fallen significantly in six months, but edible insect companies have increased production to meet demand.

Now only one in five respondents is likely to purchase an insect-based product, a downward shift from six months ago when roughly one-third said they were likely to make such a purchase. All age groups now are less likely to purchase an insect-based product than they were six months ago, while younger respondents are the most receptive to these products. 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to post an increase in being very or extremely likely to purchase such products.

Still, edible insect businesses are pushing to meet current demand. All Things Bugs, a company that produces cricket flour for companies such as Exo, Chapul and Six Foods, sold 10,000 pounds in 2014 and is on track to sell 25,000 pounds in 2015. Edible insects were listed among the top four weird food trends being pushed by millennials.

 

How likely are you to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient?

  • 22.9% of respondents are likely to purchase a product with an insect-based ingredient, a 9.1 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
    • All age groups decreased their likelihood of purchasing a product with an insect-based ingredient.
    • 18- to 29-year-olds are still the age group most likely to buy a product with an insect-based ingredient.
    • All household income levels decreased their likelihood of purchasing a product with an insect-based ingredient compared with six months ago.
    • Men and women alike are less likely to purchase a product with an insect-based ingredient compared with six months ago, but men are still more likely to make such a purchase.
  • 3.6% are very or extremely likely to purchase a product with an insect-based ingredient, a 1 percentage-point decrease compared with six months ago.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds were the only age group to post an increase in being very or extremely likely of purchasing a product with an insect-based ingredient.
    • Women who are very or extremely likely to purchase an insect-based product increased 0.2 percentage points, while men offering the same response decreased 1.9 percentage points.

 

 

14) Respondents favor developing artificial intelligence.

Respondents lean toward supporting the development of artificial intelligence, and their concerns about it are muted. Those on the older side and/or in the highest income level are the biggest supporters, though 18-to-29 year olds also are in favor. 30- to 44-year-olds are the least supportive of artificial intelligence development.

Boston Dynamics’ (a Google company) Atlas, a 6-foot-tall, 320-pound humanoid robot, was built to take soldiers’ place in wars. SoftBank Group Corp.’s (SFTBF) Pepper, an “emotionally intelligent” robot that works in stores in Japan, will be coming to the United States in 2016.

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and thousands of others have warned that the development of artificial intelligence could spell the end for humans and would be more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Our respondents appear less concerned; only 8.9% are very or extremely worried while 39.5% are not at all worried about it.

 

Should artificial intelligence be developed?

  • 54.7% of respondents believe that artificial intelligence should be developed.
    • 30- to 44-year-olds are the least likely to support the development of artificial intelligence.
    • Higher-income households are more in favor than lower-income households of developing artificial intelligence.

 

Are you worried about the development of artificial intelligence?

  • 8.9% of respondents are very or extremely worried about the development of artificial intelligence.
    • 45- to 59-year-olds and 18- to 29-year-olds are the most worried about the development.
    • Lower-income households were the most likely to be very or extremely worried about the development.
  • 39.5% of respondents are not at all worried about the development of artificial intelligence.
    • Older respondents and higher-income households are the least worried.

 


Report analysis by Mason Rudy