Tech & The Web

We Now Own More Smartphones Than DVD/Blu-Ray Players

An annual survey shows smartphones have moved up a slot as the second most-owned device in the average home, even over the DVD or Blu-Ray player.

How many of the following items do you have in your home:

  • A television set
  • A DVD or Blu-Ray player
  • A smartphone
  • A tablet or laptop

It’s a cinch, according to CTA’s 19th Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study, that you probably have a TV in your home. TVNewsCheck reports 96% of TV households own at least one television set. Though I still run into people who tell me they don’t own a television set at all — and I immediately respond by asking them how they have their living room furniture arranged — it’s clear that it’s only a fraction of people who don’t have at least one set in their home.

For years, the second-most common piece of technology was the DVD or Blu-Ray player, which makes sense when you think about it: whether you’ve cut the cord to cable or satellite, you have to watch something on that television set you’re almost certain to own.

But this year’s is the first time there’s a new number two in town: this year’s report, TVNewsCheck says, indicates the smartphone bumped off the DVD/Blu-Ray player and is now in 80% of U.S. homes, a six percent increase since last year.

My parents have a TV set and a DVD player. I can count on one hand the number of times they’ve used their DVD player in the past six months. Their TV, like mine, is on every day.

But while I carry my smartphone everywhere I go, my folks not only don’t have one, they don’t even want one.

They’ve seen what I can do with mine, but they aren’t quite impressed enough to want their own. Leave it to my folks to be part of the 20% without one…and to be perfectly content with that.

I don’t use my DVD player as often as I used to, but part of that is because of Netflix. When I’m in the mood for watching a movie they don’t have — and when you really look at it, they don’t have nearly enough movies available for streaming, or when I’m in the mood for a classic TV show like M*A*S*H — which they used to have then dropped it — I’ll just grab a DVD off the shelf and watch.

But if I had to drop one or the other — my iPhone or my DVD player — I’d have to lose the DVD player. I don’t know that I’d have said that 10 years ago, and I’m not sure I’d have even said it five years ago.

But today, there’s no question the smartphone is a requirement.

As long as no one asks me to choose between the smartphone and the television, I think I’ll be okay.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.