Saturday, September 13, 2008

Snippets from CTIA's "A Generation Unplugged" keynote

Harris Interactive presented the “A Generation Unplugged” study results at a keynote session at CTIA yesterday. For the survey Harris Interactive surveyed 2,089 teens ages 13-19 about their motivations, usage and behaviors towards mobile phones.

Harris hinted at making the presentation available for a price, so I thought I would post the following highlights:

  • About half of teens interviewed say they would die without their mobile phone and ability to make calls. Texting was not far behind.
  • The two biggest motivators of mobile usage for teens are: 1) staying in touch, and 2) (surprise) feeling safe
  • Mobile gaming is not so important to teenagers. Self expression is much more important
  • Status is first established by the clothes teens wear, and secondly by the phones they own
  • What the phone does is more important than the way it looks
  • Teens love ring tones, but they like texting and picture messaging, and more than surfing the web
  • Teens like small phones but with a lot of features
  • Teens text more than they talk on the phone
  • Teens like text because they like that it allows them to multitask, that it's fast, easy, and cheap
  • Loyalty for teens is driven by relevance of features, phone diversity, customization - in order of importance.
  • Teens want to own multiple devices
  • Most teens purchase at carrier brick and mortar
  • Teens are most influenced by parents, then their friends, then their boyfriend or girlfriend, and last by celebrity endorsements
  • When it comes to Games, teens want better selection, experience, and controls. However, overall teens care less about gaming than communication when it comes to mobile
  • One in three teens browse the mobile web. Top apps are email and social networking. However, most social networking is taking place on the PC
  • The biggest barrier to adoption of mobile video is cost
  • Teens don't mind ads on mobile device
  • The dream phone: water proof, endless power, scratch proof...
  • Teens want from phones: emergency transmitter, translations, 3D, remote control, TV (in order of preference)
  • "The phone of the future" according to teens: flexible material, just software, paper thin, appended to your eyes, wearable, projector screen
  • Teens want a single device for all or their consumer electronics needs
  • Teens dislike location applications, but they want GPS


  1. Harris Interactive is making the preso available @

    I would encourage companies interested in this to purchase the report, which provides much more insight into the methodology and data presented.

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