Methodology and Overview

We compiled Google Trends search volume for devices in the United States that we then grouped into several categories to compare: Smart Assistants, Smart Phones, TVs, Gaming Consoles, Tablets, Streaming Devices, and Virtual Reality. Using this data, we created geographical maps of specific devices within the categories to show search trends by state. The search trend is represented by a Search Index Ranking, where 100 represents the highest interest in a search term – not the total volume of searches. By using this ranking we found which areas of the country had the highest amount of interest in a technology trend over the past year. Using these maps, we also provided a brief analysis of the trends for each device. We used the same Search Index Ranking data to create month by month visualizations to show how overall US search trends for devices rose or fell throughout the year. We also provided a brief analysis of these comparison charts as well.

Amazon Echo
Google Home
Samsung Galaxy S8
iPhone X
Pixel 2
3D TVs
4K TVs
Nintendo Switch
Playstation 4
XBox One
HTC Vive
Oculus Rift
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State: Washington


Index Ranking: 0

State: Idaho


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State: Montana


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State: Oregon


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State: California


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State: Alaska


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State: Nevada


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State: Wyoming


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State: Utah


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State: Arizona


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State: Colorado


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State: New Mexico


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State: Texas


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State: North Dakota


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State: South Dakota


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State: Nebraska


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State: Kansas


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State: Oklahoma


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State: Minnesota


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State: Iowa


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State: Missouri


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State: Arkansas


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State: Louisiana


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State: Wisconsin


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State: Illinois


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State: Michigan


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State: Indiana


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State: Ohio


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State: Kentucky


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State: Tennessee


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State: Mississippi


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State: Alabama


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State: Florida


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State: Georgia


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State: South Carolina


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State: North Carolina


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State: Virginia


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State: West Virginia


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State: Pennsylvania


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State: Maryland


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State: Delaware


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State: New Jersey


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State: New York


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State: Connecticut


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State: Massachusetts


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State: Rhode Island


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State: Vermont


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State: New Hampshire


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State: Maine


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State: Hawaii


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Washington Idaho Montana Oregon California Alaska Nevada Wyoming Utah Arizona Colorado New Mexico Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Mississippi Alabama Florida Georgia South Carolina North Carolina Virginia West Virginia Pennsylvania Maryland Delaware New Jersey New York Connecticut Massachusetts Rhode Island Vermont New Hampshire Maine Hawaii

Over Time Data


Smart Assistants


Amazon Echo

The Echo got more searches in states with higher incomes, the Northeast and even Nebraska. As the Internet of Things grows with more internet-connected devices being created and used, you can expect to see searches for Smart Assistants and Speakers rise across the country.


Google Home

Google Home searches were less popular than their Amazon competitor in searches from the Northeast but were more popular in searches from the Western Interior states, Midwest states, and Southern states. Although they have been a late comer to the Smart Assistant game, Google Home has gained a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Expect to see them catch up to Amazon over the next year.


Smart Phones


Samsung Galaxy S8

The new Samsung phone was a more popular search term in both the Midwest and the West. That’s not surprising given its lower price point compared to its competitors and appeal to rural, independent-minded consumers. With the recent release of the S9, it will be interesting to see the changes in search trends over the course of the year.


iPhone X

“iPhone X” was a popular search term in the most urbanized states (i.e.- California, Illinois, New York). Perhaps these cosmopolitan searchers felt the need to keep up with buzz. Searches for the new Apple phone were also very popular in many Southern states (i.e.- Texas, Florida, Georgia). iPhone dominated the smartphone searches between 4 to 10x that of its competitors and any other phone released last year.


Pixel 2

Reversing the North-South trend apparent with iPhone X, searches for the Pixel 2 were more popular in the North. This may have been because the Pixel 2 appeals to individualistic northerners. There’s also a strong overlap with high-income states, which directly correlates with the phone’s premium price.


TVs


3D TVs

The popularity in searches for 3D TVs overlaps in states where NFL fandom reigns strong. This may be because sports fans are looking for a more immersive game-day experience. Despite these trend rankings, the popularity of 3D TVs has been in steady decline in recent years with TV companies completely halting their production in early 2017.


*States with index ranking 0 lacked sufficient data for summary.


4K TVs

Searches for 4K TVs were popular in a mix of states: those with a high average income and those with strong NFL and college football fans. These viewers likely sought the TV’s crisp resolution, which is like trends for 3D TVs. 4K TVs have about four times the resolution of a 1080p TV. Unlike 3D TVs, 4K television sets have been becoming increasingly popular over the past year – this is more than likely due to the high picture quality without the inconvenience of wearing 3D glasses.


*States with index ranking 0 lacked sufficient data for summary.


Gaming Consoles


Nintendo Switch

Searches for the Nintendo Switch were popular everywhere but the East Coast. After its March 2017 release, Nintendo announced the Switch as the fastest-selling game console ever. The Switch has the on-the-go benefits of a Game Boy with the ability to connect to home entertainment systems like a traditional gaming console. Since its lifetime sales have already surpassed those of the Wii U, expect the Switch the remain a hot system going into 2018.


Playstation 4

While the PlayStation 4 has already been been out for 3 years, Sony released some hardware upgrades in September that have both kept the console relevant and its users happy. Searches for the console were popular in rural states, low-income states and the South.

Xbox One

Similar to PlayStation 4, Xbox One got an upgrade this past year. Coined “The World’s Most Powerful Console,” The Xbox One X is faster than its forerunners and supports 4K resolution Searches for Xbox One were most popular for inland, rural and Northern states, perhaps due to its lack of novelty (being an updated version of an older console).


Virtual Reality Headsets


HTC Vive

The HTC Vive got the most searches in Western states and states with high incomes, which can be tied to its $200 higher cost than its competitor- the Rift. In early January 2018, HTC revealed the new HTC Vive Pro which has an upgraded screen resolution but potentially a higher ticket price. Since higher prices don’t usually correlate to rising search trends, it will be interesting to watch the Pro over the next year to see how it trends.


Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift’s search trends were interesting: they found more interest in the Midwest and less in the South but still seemed to appeal to states with high household incomes. In late 2017, Oculus announced two new products, a cheaper, standalone headset called the Oculus Go as well as another headset called Project Santa Cruz. While VR headsets haven’t completely changed the tech market, it appears they will be on the rise over the next year.


Top Devices
iPhone
Nintendo
Smart Assistants
Streaming Devices
Tablets
TVs
Video Game Consoles
Virtual Reality
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Category Comparisons


Top Devices from Each Category


Given all the product releases of the past year, it’s a little surprising that the most-searched tech trend was the Xbox One which ended the year with high searches that the iPhone. Although the other tech releases were interesting and noteworthy, based on searches, they were evidently not mainstream enough to motivate big search numbers.


iPhone


Older iPhones are still popular. The iPhone 8 had the biggest spike at its release (even over the iPhone X), but the iPhone 7 won out for the year in overall searches. The spike in the iPhone8 and X were expected since they occurred around their release dates. Recently, Apple revealed that it will be releasing three new iPhones this fall, all with Face ID authentication. Expect to see the same spike in search trends around their release dates.


Nintendo


Nintendo Switch outsold the Wii U and other previous Nintendo consoles in the short period after release last year. It was the Nintendo product on the tip of every gamer’s tongue in 2017 because of its versatility and fun multiplayer functions.



Smart Assistants


Perhaps due to its more recent release, the Google Home garnered more search traffic than its rival. Google Home searches surged at the end of the year with the release of both the Google Home Mini and the Google Home Max.


Streaming Devices


OTT (“over the top”) streaming services have shaken up the way we watch TV, and over the past year Roku has shaken up its big competitors in the OTT device space. Since Roku became a publicly traded company in September, it’s search trends have continued to go steadily upward.


Tablets


The king continues to reign supreme here, and by a solid margin. iPad search popularity more than quadruples that of the Amazon Fire, its nearest competitor in the tablet tech trends.


TVs


3D TVs have been discontinued, and HDTV is the past, but 4K is right now. Search trends for 4K TVs were consistently three times higher than that of 3D TVs or HDTVs. There was a large spike in search trends during November, which is more than likely because of the shopping holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


Video Game Consoles


While the Nintendo Switch sold an astounding 14.9 million units in 2017, the Xbox One continues to hold its own in search popularity. Xbox One searches had a mild peak during June and July, right around the time of E3 where it was announced that Microsoft would be releasing the Xbox One X in November. Searches for the Xbox One skyrocketed after the X was release and continued to climb into the shopping heavy holiday season. The only time that the Switch trended higher than the Xbox One was around its release date in March.


Virtual Reality


2017 was the holiday season of VR headsets and, as evidenced by searches, there’s been a ton of jockeying in the VR category. July saw the most significant change in trends, when the price of the Oculus Rift was significantly reduced and led to a huge uptick in search trends. The PlayStation VR system had a significant comeback at the end of the year after the price was reduced for the holiday season.