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The average number of entertainment and smart home devices per U.S. home remains high but dipped slightly – from 25 to 22 – between 2021 and this year, according to Deloitte’s “2022 Connectivity and Mobile Trends” report.

A key theme of the report are that the reverberations of the COVID-19 pandemic still are being felt but are not being felt as strongly as they were a year ago.

The report is an expansive one that looked at work from home, telehealth, mobile devices and more.

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Key findings include:

  • More than half of those surveyed are worried about the security and vulnerability of their smartphones (54%) and smart home devices (52%). Forty percent of users are concerned about data security on smartwatches and fitness trackers.
  • Twenty-four percent of consumers are overwhelmed by the devices and subscriptions they need to manage. That percentage was down from 32% in 2021. Twenty-seven percent of smart technology users say the devices add too much complexity to their lives.
  • Forty-five percent of consumers said at least one household member was working from home at least some of the time. That was down from 55% in 2021. The report said that 23% of respondents said one or more household members at least partially attended school from home, down from 43% in 2021.
  • Forty-nine percent said they were party to at least one virtual medical appointment as a patient in the past year.
  • More than 60% of students attending virtual school from home during the past year reported their family and classmate/teacher relationships and well-being remained steady or improved.
  • Consumers considering a smartphone purchase rank 5G as the third most-important feature, behind battery life and data storage.
  • Twenty percent of consumers switched mobile providers in the last two years, primarily because they wanted better value for the money.
  • Fifteen percent of consumers upgraded their home Internet services to get higher speeds, while 44% purchased “signal boosters.” Eighty-seven percent reported say the new equipment improved Wi-Fi performance.
Source: Press Release

Taken together, the results show a growing sophistication of how telecommunications technology and services are used. The COVID-19 pandemic enables users to explore their digital tools and find new ways to apply them, Paul Silverglate, the vice chair of Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology sector leader, said in a press release.

“What we’ve gleaned from this year’s Connectivity and Mobile Trends survey is that consumers are gaining mastery over their digital lives — they are more intentional about which activities they want to take part in virtually and deciding those that are better suited for being there in-person,” he said in the release about the research on smart home devices per home. “Our survey also found that some of the virtual and digital necessities people experienced actually had positive impacts on family, education, and health and fitness, juxtaposed against the need for stronger security and data privacy, which will ultimately create additional demand for technology companies.”

One of the stars of the COVID era is Wi-Fi. In February, the Comcast 2021 Wi-Fi Trends Report found that 45% of those surveyed believe technology is more important than reliable transportation. The report also said that there had been a 12-fold increase in devices connected to Wi-Fi since 2018.

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