Cell Phones are Multi-Functional Accessories for the Cellular Generation: comScore Survey

Based on a survey of U.S. consumers who use a wireless phone, comScore analyzed the differences in behavior and attitudes of three key wireless consumer segments - The Cellular Generation (ages 18 to 24);  Transitioners (ages 25 to 34); and Adult Adopters (age 35 or older). Here are the key insights from the survey:

While consumers in both the Cellular Generation and Transitioners are likely to view their cell phones as multi-dimensional devices, adult adopters tend to have a more functional view.  

Approximately one-quarter of both the Cellular Generation (26%) and Transitioners (25%) said that “trendiness” was of high importance when selecting a cell phone, as compared to just 10% of Adult Adopters.  

Additionally, 41% of Cellular Generation consumers like their cell phone to be personalized with options such as color schemes and ring tones, while only 19% of Adult Adopters feel the same.

The Cellular Generation clearly places the greatest value on additional features:

  • 57% rank text messaging as “high importance” when selecting a wireless carrier 

  • 25% stating the same for instant messaging 

  • 42% said that a camera was of high importance when selecting a wireless phone

  • 20% said the same of an MP3 Player.  

In comparison, a lower 30% of Adult adopters felt that having a camera was of high importance, and just 8% felt the same about an MP3 Player. 

Cell Phone Attitudes by Consumer Segment 
October 25, 2006 – November 1, 2006

 

Percent of Respondents

Cellular Generation
(age 18 -24)

Transitioners
(age 25 - 34)

Adult Adopters
(age 35 and older)

High Importance* When Selecting a Wireless Carrier

Text-Messaging

57%

43%

23%

Multimedia Messaging

18%

18%

8%

Instant Messaging

25%

22%

13%

High Importance* When Selecting a Cell Phone

Text Messaging

58%

46%

30%

Camera

42%

37%

30%

Trendiness

26%

25%

10%

MP3 Player

20%

19%

8%

I like my phone to be personalized (i.e. color, ring tones, etc.)**

Strongly Disagree

13%

25%

45%

Strongly Agree

41%

32%

19%

* High importance = selecting a 6 or 7 rating on a 7-point scale
** Strongly disagree = selecting a 1 or 2 rating; Strongly agree = selecting a 6 or 7 rating on a 7-point scale

Source:  comScore Networks Wireless Report

More than three-quarters of both the Cellular Generation and Transitioners have the option to access the Internet on their cell phones, but Transitioners (29%) are more likely to subscribe to Internet services than the Cellular Generation (23%).  

Adult adopters have been the slowest to adopt to using internt, with just 13% currently subscribing to the Internet on their cell phones while 42% either lack, or are unaware of the option of doing so. 

“During the past decade, cell phones have dramatically changed the communication habits of American consumers,” said Serge Matta, senior vice president of comScore Telecommunications Solutions. 

About This Study
The report is based on 1,708 responses to an email survey of U.S. Internet users who use cellular phones,  among members of comScore’s panel of more than two million online consumers, between
October 25, 2006 – November 1, 2006.  1,708.

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