Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, February 25, 2021
Home printer penetration trend
Home printers remain a part of home computing if less core than five years ago. Only two years ago, in 2018, there was a noticeable drop in overall home printer usage levels, as the penetration rate fell to two-thirds of online adults from nearly three in four only two years earlier. Since that time, the rate has stabilized and even slightly increased. As of TUP/Technology User Profile 2020, 70% of online American adults regularly use a home printer.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 19, 2020
Subscription plans are one way for home printer users to make certain they have enough ink when they are ready to print. However, not all home printer user subscribes to an in replacement subscription plan. This MetaFAQs reports on the percentage of American home printer users that use an ink subscription plan.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 5, 2020
Online Americans don’t all use their home printers at the same rates. Not only users vary by age group, but they have also changed over time. This MetaFAQs reports on the average number of paged being printed with home printers by the age group of the respondent for each year from 2015 through 2020.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, November 16, 2020
Home printers are used for a wide variety of activities. Those involving children – from homework to photos – spur higher printer usage. This MetaFAQs reports on the average number of pages being printed with home printers in the US, split by whether or not there are children in the household.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, October 22, 2020
Online Americans use their printers differently than only a few short years ago. As they have increased their use of smartphones and social networks to share personal memories, printing photos or greeting cards have declined. This MetaFAQs reports on the many activities online adults do with their home printers, comparing current results with those from 2016.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, October 20, 2020
Even while taking pictures is a regular part of most American’s lives as an everyday activity with their smartphone, printing them on a home printer is a declining trend. This MetaFAQs reports on the regular use of home printers to print photos and the use of smartphones to take pictures from 2016 through 2020.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, October 16, 2020
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, home printers have been increasingly used for work. This growth is primarily among American adults that are neither the youngest nor the oldest. This MetaFAQs reports on the use of home printers for personal activities as well as work-related activities by age group.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, October 9, 2020
It’s not enough for online Americans to have a home printer. It’s important to know how much they’re using what they have. This MetaFAQs reports on the trend in average number of pages being printed with home printers among online Americans from 2015 through 2020.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, October 5, 2020
Home printers have been been the backbone of the home computing experience. As Americans spend more time online and communicate directly online, their use of home printers has shifted. This has in turn affected the share of adults using a home PC. This MetaFAQs looks at the trend in home printer penetration from 2015 through 2020.
Inertia simultaneously saves and disrupts technological transformation. Scanners and printers with integrated scanners have been at the heart of the paper to digital change. So much that was paper is now electronic. The “paperless office” has been a hyped cliché for decades, and yet is truer with each passing year. Although electronic signatures have been legal for over 20 years in most countries, and digital copies are increasingly acceptable in many cases, the migration from paper to electronic lumbers along gradually. Consumers and businesses alike continue to need to convert hardcopy documents and images into electronic form.
Standalone Scanners Subsiding
Scanning is still alive, although standalone scanners are only being used by a relative few.
The regular use of a standalone scanner has sagged across a range of countries, as we found in research results from the MetaFacts TUP/Technology User Profile survey. Our TUP 2019 survey of 11,625 respondents in the US, Germany, and China show that only a small percent of online adults use a standalone scanner.
There are a range of standalone scanners available, as distinct from the scanners included in MFP (Multi-Function Printers). Standalone scanners with ADFs (automatic document feeders) are well-suited to converting large batches of documents into a digital form, either for archiving or for wider use in a new electronic form. Flatbed scanners are useful for incidental scanning. Specialized scanners, such as business card scanners, are also useful for specific tasks. All these types of standalone scanners are included within these numbers, reflecting their niche use.
Standalone neither young nor old
Younger generations, many referred to as digital natives, have not embraced standalone scanners. Neither are older adults the major users of paper scanners. The share of age 18-24 and 25-34 are effectively the same as among age 55-64 and 65 and older.
What the young do
Younger Americans – especially age 25-34 – have a unique scanning profile. As compared to any other age group, they are above average in using standalone scanners to scan personal documents, personal photographs, work documents, and work photographs. Americans age 55+ stand out in being well above average in scanning personal documents. These older are adults are also well below average in scanning personal photographs and work documents or photographs.
Difference of One or Many among Young and Old
Older Americans that use standalone scanners use flatbed one-document-at-a-time scanners at a much higher rate than younger Americans. While 78% of American scanner users age 65+ use a flatbed scanner, only 26% of adults age 18-24 do so. Instead, a higher share of younger adults use a multi-document scanner, with 61% of standalone scanners age 18-24 using one and 54% of age 25-34. Neither younger nor older Americans are primarily using a portable/business card scanner. Among these least-used devices, there’s a slightly younger skew.
More ways than one
Many online adults use computer printers for scanning, choosing either those with single-sheet platens or automatic document feeders (ADF).
Use of printers for scanning is more widespread than use of standalone scanners. Roughly ten times as many adults regularly use their primary printer for scanning as use a standalone printer. The percent of online adults in the US is 36%, 35% in China, and 46% in Germany. These rates are down somewhat from 2015 through 2019 in the many countries we surveyed.
Printer scanning for elders
When using a computer printer to scan, a much higher share of scanning is among older than younger Americans. Half (50%) of online Americans age 65 and higher use their primary printer to scan photos or documents. Among online Americans age 54 and younger, only 35% or fewer regularly use a printer to scan.
One at a time
Over three-fourths (78%) of Americans who scan using a printer only scan one document at a time. Almost half of that number, 37%, only scan multiple items using an automated document feeder. Another half of that number, 16%, regularly do both.
The silent substitute competition for scanners is near at hand – smartphones. Although arguably smartphones don’t handle the highest demands for scanning, they’re more than adequate for many purposes. Archiving large batches of documents or photographs will continue to be a job for high-end standalone scanners. To take a quick scan of a document, though, to share with others, is well within the capability of nearly every smartphone, and that’s even before the use of specialized scanning or deskewing apps. Add smartphone apps like Microsoft Lens, CamScanner, or the many others that include OCR (optical character recognition) and most needs are covered well enough.
Yet another substitute for scanning is also silent – paperless statements. The majority of banks, brokerages, creditors, utilities, and other suppliers continue to encourage their customers to move from paper to electronic statements. Also, tax and other governmental authorities are increasingly digital, both sending and receiving documents electronically. This reduces the demand for customers to scan paper documents that they can simply download and send to whoever needs a copy.
These trends don’t mean that scanning will completely go away. In fact, most of the decline has already happened for scanner use and scanning with printers. These devices and activities have dropped to the realm of being a niche and are likely to remain so.
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