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UK Digital Trends Quarterly: AI and Automation Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Trends Quarterly: AI and Automation market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this Report

This Report covers ownership of and intentions to purchase consumer technology products (eg televisions, laptops and smartphones), as well as the methods that people have used to connect to the internet in the last three months.

Mintel’s Digital Trends Report series examines what types of activities consumers have performed online using PCs (Personal Computers) (laptops or desktops), tablets and smartphones. In each quarter, we focus on a different aspect of consumer behaviour, and this edition focuses on social and media-related activities including use of social networks and messaging services, online news and video consumption, photo and video sharing, and casual gaming.

In addition, every edition contains a Special Focus section, where we address a particular aspect of the consumer technology market. This edition’s Special Focus is on consumer attitudes towards some of the AI- or automation-based innovations that companies are starting to introduce across various consumer markets.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Matt King, a leading analyst in the Leisure, Tourism, Tech & Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The fact that digital assistants like Alexa or Siri are the most likely of the AI-based or automated products or services that people would use is a reflection of the extent to which voice controlled speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home have quickly captured the public’s imagination. Smartphone-based digital assistants helped introduce people to the idea, but it’s the advent of voice-controlled speakers that has really started to help people see voice interaction as a real benefit rather than just a gimmick. Matt King
Head of Leisure, Tourism, Tech & Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Personal Technology
            • Recent purchasing trends provide cause for optimism in a saturated smartphone market
              • Figure 1: Ownership of mobile phones, January 2012-December 2017
            • March of the smartwatches continues
              • Figure 2: Ownership of wearable devices, November 2014-December 2017
            • Household Technology
              • Computer market remains flat, with cut-throat competition for replacement buyers
                • Figure 3: Household ownership of computers, January 2012-December 2017
              • One in six have now gone 4K…
                • Figure 4: Household ownership of HD and Ultra HD 4K televisions, July 2016-December 2017
              • Voice speaker ownership up to one in 10, and VR makes inroads
                • Figure 5: Ownership of voice-controlled speakers and VR headsets, December 2017
              • Online activities
                • Online activity sees winter bump
                  • Figure 6: Online activities done in the last three months on any device*, June 2017 and December 2017
                • Special Focus: AI and Automation
                  • Weight of opinion balanced against personalisation
                    • Figure 7: Interest in personalised recommendations, December 2017
                  • Voice-controlled speaker growth helping accustom people to AI
                    • Figure 8: Likelihood of using automated products or services, December 2017
                • Personal Technology – Headline Data

                    • Ownership of mobile phones
                      • Figure 9: Ownership of mobile phones, January 2012-December 2017
                      • Figure 10: Ownership of mobile phones and smartwatches (source data), January 2012-December 2017
                      • Figure 11: Smartphone and basic mobile phone ownership combinations, June 2017-December 2017
                      • Figure 12: Smartphone and basic mobile phone ownership combinations (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                    • Ownership of wearable technology
                      • Figure 13: Ownership of wearable devices, November 2014-December 2017
                      • Figure 14: Ownership of wearable devices (source data), November 2014-December 2017
                    • Ownership of other personal technology
                      • Figure 15: Ownership of other personal technology products, December 2013-December 2017
                      • Figure 16: Ownership of other personal technology products (source data), December 2013-December 2017
                    • Recent personal technology purchases
                      • Figure 17: Personal technology products bought in the last three months, June 2017-December 2017
                      • Figure 18: Personal technology products bought in the last three months (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                    • Planned personal technology purchases
                      • Figure 19: Personal technology products plan to buy in the next three months, June 2017-December 2017
                      • Figure 20: Personal technology products plan to buy in the next three months (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                  • Personal Technology – Market Commentary

                      • Recent purchasing trends provide cause for optimism in a saturated smartphone market
                        • Flagship handset demand to continue into 2018
                          • Smartphone shoppers getting savvier
                            • Innovation beyond the small screen
                              • Positive projection for WMS’s Moviphone
                                • Figure 21: Moviphone, from WMS
                              • PC mode back on the table
                                • Figure 22: Huawei Mate 10 in Pocket PC mode
                              • March of the smartwatches continues
                                • New models continue to pack in more features
                                  • Figure 23: Fitbit Versa
                                • The future looks fit and well…
                                  • …and fashionable
                                    • Wearable cameras maintain a steady niche
                                    • Household Technology – Headline Data

                                        • Ownership of computers
                                          • Figure 24: Household ownership of computers, January 2012-December 2017
                                          • Figure 25: Household ownership of computers (source data), January 2012-December 2017
                                          • Figure 26: Ownership of computers, by form factor. June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 27: Ownership of computers, by form factor (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 28: Computer ownership combinations, June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 29: Computer ownership combinations (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                                        • Ownership of TVs
                                          • Figure 30: Household ownership of HD and Ultra HD 4K televisions, July 2016-December 2017
                                          • Figure 31: Household ownership of HD and Ultra HD 4K televisions (source data), July 2016-December 2017
                                          • Figure 32: TV ownership combinations, June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 33: TV ownership combinations (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                                        • TV connectivity
                                          • Figure 34: Type of TV internet connection, June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 35: Type of TV internet connection (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                                        • Ownership of other household technology
                                          • Figure 36: Ownership of other household technology products, January 2012-December 2017
                                          • Figure 37: Ownership of other household technology products (source data), January 2012-December 2017
                                          • Figure 38: Ownership of voice-controlled speakers and VR headsets, December 2017
                                          • Figure 39: Ownership of voice-controlled speakers and VR headsets (source data), December 2017
                                        • Recent computer and static console purchases
                                          • Figure 40: Computers and static consoles bought in the last three months, June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 41: Computers and static consoles bought in the last three months (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                                        • Planned computer and static console purchases
                                          • Figure 42: Computers or static consoles plan to buy in the next three months, June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 43: Computers or static consoles plan to buy in the next three months (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                                        • Recent TV purchases
                                          • Figure 44: TVs bought in the last three months, June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 45: TVs bought in the last three months (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                                        • Planned TV purchases
                                          • Figure 46: TVs plan to buy in the next three months, June 2017-December 2017
                                          • Figure 47: TVs plan to buy in the next three months (source data), June 2017-December 2017
                                      • Household Technology – Market Commentary

                                          • Computer markets remains flat, with cut-throat competition for replacement buyers
                                            • Figure 48: Microsoft Surface Book 2
                                          • Apple focuses on value and education…
                                            • …while Chromebook launches look to appeal elsewhere
                                              • Figure 49: HP Chromebook x2
                                            • One in six have now gone 4K…
                                              • …with a further summer boost expected
                                                • Innovation continues on the periphery
                                                  • Voice speaker ownership up to one in 10
                                                    • Figure 50: Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana
                                                  • VR starting to make inroads as it looks to stand alone
                                                    • Figure 51: Oculus Go
                                                  • Oculus aims for six degrees of untethered freedom…
                                                    • …while HTC takes aim at enthusiasts with the Vive Pro
                                                    • Online Activities – Headline Data

                                                        • Online activities across all devices
                                                          • Figure 52: Online activities done in the last three months on any device*, June 2017 and December 2017
                                                          • Figure 53: Online activities done in the last three months on any device* (source data), June 2017 and December 2017
                                                        • Online activities on a desktop/laptop
                                                          • Figure 54: Online activities done in the last three months on a desktop/laptop, June 2017 and December 2017
                                                          • Figure 55: Online activities done in the last three months on a desktop/laptop (source data), June 2017 and December 2017
                                                        • Online activities on a tablet
                                                          • Figure 56: Online activities done in the last three months on a tablet, June 2017 and December 2017
                                                          • Figure 57: Online activities done in the last three months on a tablet (source data), June 2017 and December 2017
                                                        • Online activities on a smartphone
                                                          • Figure 58: Online activities done in the last three months on a smartphone, June 2017 and December 2017
                                                          • Figure 59: Online activities done in the last three months on a smartphone (source data), June 2017 and December 2017
                                                      • Online Activities – Market Commentary

                                                          • Online activity sees winter bump
                                                            • Facebook scandal puts social media under scrutiny…
                                                              • …but will people change their habits?
                                                                • The challenge of maintaining engagement
                                                                  • Increasing focus on video
                                                                    • Figure 60: Tinder Loops
                                                                  • Publishers continue the drive for subscriptions and revenue
                                                                  • Special Focus: AI and Automation – Headline Data

                                                                      • Personalised recommendations
                                                                        • Figure 61: Interest in personalised recommendations, December 2017
                                                                        • Figure 62: Interest in personalised recommendations (source data), December 2017
                                                                      • Automated products and services
                                                                        • Figure 63: Likelihood of using automated products or services, December 2017
                                                                        • Figure 64: Likelihood of using automated products or services (source data), December 2017
                                                                      • Automated customer service features
                                                                        • Figure 65: Attitudes towards automated customer service features, December 2017
                                                                        • Figure 66: Attitudes towards automated customer service features (source data), December 2017
                                                                    • Special Focus: AI and Automation – Market Commentary

                                                                        • Weight of opinion balanced against personalisation
                                                                          • Voice-controlled speaker growth helping accustom people to AI
                                                                            • Innovation across the board
                                                                              • Figure 67: Thea the St. Tropez TanBot
                                                                            • Amazon leads in automation
                                                                              • Figure 68: Amazon Go store, Seattle
                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                              • Abbreviations