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Survey: Age Affects Cellphone Preferences

ALPHARETTA, GA. — Cellphones
aren’t replacing separate MP3 players,
portable navigation devices (PNDs) or
digital cameras, but younger consumers
ages 13 to 17 are more likely than their
elders to use their cellphones cross-functionally,
potentially leading to more cellphone
competition with these dedicated
devices in the long term, a MarketSource
survey found.

MarketSource, a market research company
and provider of integrated sales
and market services, conducted the nationwide
online survey exclusively for
TWICE. The company compiled responses
from adults in 505 households,
yielding a sample size considered statistically
robust to provide a significance level
of +5 at a 95 percent confidence level,
MarketSource said. Respondents had to
be cellphone subscribers and be at least
18 years of age.

In the 505 surveyed households, MarketSource
also interviewed 100 13- to 17-

“Generation Y [teens and tweens] is
more likely to have higher expectations
than adults from their cellular devices
and also utilize them more cross-functionally as an MP3 player or digital camera,
for instance,” MarketSource said.
“Generation X and Y are also more apt
to turn over mobile devices not so much
out of necessity but more so due to new
features and product offerings,” Market-
Source also found.

Although many adult respondents
own a separate MP3 player, PND or digital
camera separate from their cellphone,
the company said, younger consumers
consider MP3 playback, high-resolution
cameras and GPS capability as more important
features in their next phone than
adults do.

Sixty-six percent of 13- to 17-year-olds
consider MP3 playback an important feature
in their next cellphone purchase, compared
with 27 percent of adults. Sixty-eight
percent of the younger set consider a highresolution
camera an important feature
in their next cellphone, while 34 percent
of adults do. GPS is an important feature
for 33 percent of the 17-and-under crowd,
while 28 percent of adults think so.

Sixty percent of adults, in contrast, consider
battery life an important factor in
their next cellphone purchase, compared
with 27 percent of the younger crowd.

Although their priorities are different,
adults still use their cellphones in great
numbers to listen to music, take pictures
and navigate. Nonetheless, adults
also overwhelmingly use dedicated devices
for those purposes, in large part because
the use cases for dedicated devices
differs from the use cases for cellphones
that incorporate those capabilities, MarketSource

Phone owners who own a separate
MP3 player, for instance, tend to use
their dedicated MP3 player rather than
their cellphone to watch video when
they’re mobile, presumably because of
screen size and screen resolution, the
survey found. On average, adult consumers
who own MP3 players and cellphones
and watch video when mobile
will watch video 74 percent of the time
on their MP3 player and only 26 percent
of the time on their cellphone.

In contrast, adult phone owners who
own a separate MP3 player listen to music
on their cellphone proportionately more
than they watch video on their cellphone.
On average, 60 percent of their mobile music
listening is done on a cellphone compared
with 40 percent on an MP3 player.

Of the surveyed phone-owning adults, 72 percent own both a separate MP3
player and an MP3-playing cellphone,
while 28 percent said they use a cellphone
as their only MP3 player and chose not
to buy a dedicated MP3 player because of
their cellphone’s MP3 capabilities.

Only 24 percent of phone-owning
adults own both a PND and a navigation-
capable cellphone, but different
use cases between the two types of devices
also emerge, MarketSource found.
Among the 24 percent, the PND tends
to remain in the car, and GPS-equipped
cellphones tend to be used for navigation
purposes when the user is on foot, MarketSource
found. These consumers use
their phone’s GPS feature seven times a
month on average while using their PND
22 times per month on average.

The survey also found that 64 percent
of adult cellphone owners own
both a dedicated digital camera and a
camera-equipped cellphone. Only 20
percent of adult cellphone owners believe
their cellphone camera is adequate
for their needs.