Chapter 18

Behavior Changes Seen in All Age Groups

By 2009, those too stubborn to look at the numbers continued to make the claim that only those 45 years old and younger were using mobile phones. The statistics clearly told a different story.

In a study conducted early that year by the marketing research company InsightExpress, 84 percent of younger American Boomers (ages 45 to 54) and 79 percent of older American Boomers (ages 55 to 64) owned cell phones. In fact, wireless had become the technology of choice for many younger Boomers, with only 65 percent using a personal computer at the time to access the Internet.

Delving further, smartphone penetration had reached only 17 percent, with Generation Y (ages 18 to 24) choosing the most sophisticated devices one out of every four purchases, followed closely by Generation X (ages 25 to 44) at 24 percent.

The younger the mobile user, the more likely he or she was to rely on the phone for current information, use the device more than a computer to reach the Web, and have an interest in making a purchase with a single click.

Overall, 1 in 10 were interested in signing up for text alerts. About the same number of mobile subscribers had used a social networking service via mobile, with Facebook leading the way followed by soon-to-be-fading MySpace.

Among the most interesting findings surrounded the Generation Y mobile subscriber. InsightExpress found that mobile was being used as a “social crutch,” with 38 percent admitting to having ...

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