Research Shows Terminology and Product Complexity Impacting Adoption of New Technologies Worldwide
—AMD Global Consumer Advisory Board study first to quantify impact of technology terminology, complexity, and confusion—
SUNNYVALE, CA --
A new study from the AMD (NYSE: AMD) Global Consumer Advisory Board (GCAB) — released during its bi-annual meeting this year in Stockholm, Sweden — reveals why so many people around the world may be delaying their purchases of new technologies. According to the study, too many potential buyers don’t understand the language of the technology industry, and are delaying their purchases because products and terminology are too complex.
The report, which surveyed more than 1,500 consumers in China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, revealed that only three percent of respondents got a perfect score on a technology terms quiz, which included terms such as “MP3,” “megahertz” and “Bluetooth.” And, only slightly more than half (65 percent) of respondents correctly identified the definition of “megahertz” from a line-up of three possible definitions. Even of the most knowledgeable (those who identified more than seven of 11 technology terms correctly), only slightly more than a third could correctly identify the definition of digital video recorder (DVR).
The study also showed that those who were least knowledgeable (those identifying six or fewer technology terms correctly) are the most likely to delay technology purchases. For example, 47 percent of those who scored the lowest state they will delay their purchases of digital cameras due to complexity.
Moreover, the study confirmed that people are delaying purchases of new technologies because the technologies are perceived as too complex. For instance, 40 percent of the most proficient consumers state they will delay purchases of personal digital assistants (PDAs) because the PDAs are viewed as too complicated. Setting up complicated technology products is also a key area of concern. Nearly half of all respondents (46 percent) strongly state they don’t buy anything that is complicated to set up, and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) strongly agree with the statement that they “wish to have things work and not spend time setting up.”
“The high-tech industry is spending more than $10 billion a year in the U.S. alone advertising the speeds and feeds of the products. But the industry is not getting the full value of their advertising dollars when, for example, only slightly more than half of the PC users we spoke with don’t understand the term ‘megahertz’ — which is used in a vast majority of personal computer (PC) advertisements,” said Patrick Moorhead, chairman of the GCAB and vice president of corporate marketing at AMD. “The technology industry must simplify its vocabulary so that consumers around the world can better understand the benefits technology can bring to their lives.”
The study also suggests that the PC is a gateway to the adoption of other consumer technology products. For instance, 87 percent of those who plan to buy a DVR in the next 12 months already use a home PC, and 80 percent of those who plan to buy a DVD player in the next 12 months already use a home PC.
The AMD GCAB invites the public to take the technology terminology and complexity test, which can be found on www.amdgcab.org, and test their knowledge of technology terms against others’ from around the world.
The AMD GCAB contracted with MetaFacts Inc., a full-service market research firm focusing exclusively on technology markets, to conduct the technology terms study. The study was a large-scale, international consumer survey measuring consumers’ understanding of a range of technology products and terms, as well as consumers perceptions of products and resulting purchase intentions.
About the AMD GCAB
The AMD Global Consumer Advisory Board’s (GCAB) mission is to improve the quality of end users’ technology experiences. The GCAB consists of 14 consumer and small business experts, academics, journalists and technology futurists from around the world who seek to resolve computing technology issues facing home and small business computer users worldwide. Members are:
- Patrick Moorhead, GCAB chairman and AMD vice president, corporate marketing
- Dr. Soonhoon Bae, professor, Korea Advance Institute of Science and Technology
- Jim Blasingame, creator and host of the U.S. nationally syndicated, weekday radio/Internet talk show, “The Small Business Advocate”
- Mark Boleat, United Kingdom consumer policy and business representation consultant and a board member of the National Consumer Council (NCC)
- Dr. William Halal, professor of management at George Washington University
- Vicky Hung, founder of hongkong.com Limited
- Ken McEldowney, executive director of Consumer Action, a San Francisco-based consumer advocacy and education membership organization
- Enrico Mercanti, consumer marketing and business consultant, Italy
- Tricia Parks, founder and president of Parks Associates, a U.S. consulting firm
- Jose Antonio Romalho, a Brazilian technology writer and syndicated columnist
- Dr. Carlos Scheel, professor at the Graduate School of Business (EGADE) of the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Monterrey, Mexico
- Dr. Bernd Skiera, professor and first Electronic Commerce chair at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt, Germany
- Dr. Hideyo Waki, professor in the Information and Telecommunication Department at Tokyo Denki University
- Dr. Barry Wellman, sociology professor at the University of Toronto, as well as director of the University’s NetLab.
The GCAB is part of AMD’s Consumer Advocacy Initiative (CAI), which represents the company’s commitment to understanding technology end users, and the company’s dedication to putting end users at the forefront of the industry’s technology discussion. Consumers or small businesses with questions or comments may e-mail the GCAB at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the GCAB can be found at www.amdgcab.org.
Founded in 1969 and based in Sunnyvale, California, AMD (NYSE: AMD) is a global supplier of integrated circuits for the personal and networked computer and communications markets with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Asia. AMD, a Standard & Poor’s 500 company, produces microprocessors, Flash memory devices, and silicon-based solutions for communications and networking applications.
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Note: MetaFacts' Technology User Profile survey is the longest running, largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, with over 19 years of continuous research. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, mobile devices and related services and products. The Technology User Profile respondent panel was used as a basis for the U.S. portion of the technology terms study. More information on MetaFacts or Technology User Profile can be obtained by visiting www.metafacts.com or calling 760/635-4300.
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