Monday, September 15, 2008

Teen Wireless Habits

"In the future, mobility for teens means mobile banking, mobile voting, location based services, personal entertainment - the sky is the limit for how mobile our lifestyles can be," commented Largent. "We've certainly come a long way in 25 years and expect teens to be a growth driver for the industry and have a major impact on the wireless landscape for years to come."

This comes from a wire released today by CTIA.  Since the release of the first cell phone 25 years ago, much as changed.  Well, that goes without saying.  What was one meant for businessmen on the go, the phone is now considered "smart" with capabilities in a small package only seen on Star Trek.

So, what are teenagers, doing with their mobile phones?  In a survey of 2,000 generation Xers (what letter are we on now?), it is clear that if you want to survive in today's adolescent jungle, the average teenager has to have a smartphone and do the following with it:

  • texting - it has now replaced talking.  Parents, your landlines are now free.  More girls find texting to be indispensable than boys.
  • logging on to social networks
  • up-to-the minute access to friends and families
Wireless services and features teens want:
  • 80% want secured data access (privacy from parents I'll bet)
  • 66% want access to medical records (this is surprising)
  • 66% want wireless access to education no matter where they are
  • 63% want access to issues pertaining to their concerns (self-centre brats!)
  • durable mobile phones or smart devices
  • better battery life - so do I.
  • privacy screen.
  • survey spoke about flexible material but I'm guess they're talking about variety of smartphones.
  • AI - okay....(virtual friend I suppose...)
Future features they're looking for:
  • mobile banking - it's limited now.
  • mobile voting - I'm for this.
  • location-based services - it's available now and growing
  • added personal entertainment - TV, reading, audio
Well, it isn't any surprise that this is what teens are doing with their mobile devices and the kind of impact it has already has on their lives.  Personally, I am optimistic about these young mobile warriors.  I hope their willingness to adopt services and their adaptive nature will push forward greater wireless access and innovations.

I would have liked the survey to ask what kind of devices they mostly use.  I'm guess Sidekicks with Blackberries and iPhones no where in sight.

Note:  Surprising (or scary) stat from the study.  42% of the teens can text blind-folded.  

Note from the press release:  About the Study: "Teenagers: A Generation Unplugged"
The study was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of 2,089 teenagers across the U.S. who have cell phones (ages 13-19). More than 100 questions were asked on mobile phone usage, attitudes, behaviors, and teens' desires and aspirations for the future of mobile communications, entertainment, etc. The study was conducted in July 2008 among teenagers who are part of the Harris Interactive Online Panel.

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