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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : September 11, 2012


Smartphone adoption in U.S. led by teens

Data backs up what we all know; teenagers grab hold of new technology like no-one else. Nielsen's latest study reveals that teens are adopting smartphones at a greater rate than any other age group.

by Helen Leggatt

nielsen logo.pngWhile young adults (25-34) have the highest adoption rate for smartphones, 74% now own one, teenagers are hot on their heels.

Teenagers (13-17) are adopting smartphones at a much faster rate than young adults.
One year ago just over a third (36%) of teenagers in the U.S. owned a smartphone. Today, over half (58%) have one.

"Among most age groups smartphones represent the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers, but American teens were the age group adopting smartphones the fastest," said Nichole Henderson, a Nielsen analyst. "As teens increase in their share of smartphone owners, mobile carriers and manufacturers should consider how to market to this growing group."

The largest share of the operating system market among all owners surveyed goes to Android with just under 52%, followed by iOS (34.3%), RIM Blackberry (8%) and others (5.9%).

Among those who purchased a smartphone in the last three months, across all age groups, the Android operating system again takes the lead with 58.6% of the market compared to iOS (33%), RIM Blackberry (2.7%) and others (5.8%).

Nielsen's "New Mobile Obsession: U.S. Teens Triple Data Usage" report (Dec.2011) looked at the tendency for teenagers to use text messaging rather than speaking on their mobile devices.

It found that, on average, teenagers text 3,417 times each month - or 7 times each waking hour. Teenage girls text far more than boys sending 3,952 messages each month compared with 2,815.

However, teens don't use their mobile devices to call and talk to their friends - that's so last year. Indeed, this age group spent over 100 minutes less chatting on their mobiles in 2011 than 2010 (572 vs. 685 minutes).

Why the preference for texting instead of calling? Almost a quarter (22%) said it's faster to text, almost as many (21%) said it was easier and 18% think it's more fun.

As well as texting, teenagers are turning to their mobile devices to keep themselves entertained. In the year to Q3 2011 Nielsen recorded a 95% rise in online gaming via mobile along with an 85% rise in game downloads and a 66% rise in music and radio streaming.

Tags: Android, consumer insight, iOS, mobile demographics, smartphone usage, teenagers, text messaging










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