Mobile Youth Around the World

December 2010

15-24 H1 2010 90% 75% 71% 71% 67% 64% 62% 53% 10% 25% 29% 29% 33% 36% UK 38% 47% India Russia China Germany US Smartphone Spain Italy Feature Phone Gender of Smartphone Users. And young people around the world are more immersed in mobile technology than any previous generation. Europe. Asia. In the overall US smartphone population. UK. compared to 31 percent of adults over 25. Understanding whether behaviors are a function of age or other environmental factors can help marketers communicate more effectively with this key demographic through mobile services and devices. economy and age can all play a large part in mobile behavior. Italy leads in smartphone penetration with 47 percent of young people ages 15-24 owning a smartphone. Germany. Feature Phone Out of all the countries examined. In this report. What kind of phones do young people use? Smartphone v. Latin America. Youth in the United States exceed the population average smartphone penetration by 5 percent. Smartphone penetration among European youth averages 28 percent in the countries surveyed. India.Overview From texting to video to social networking. and the Middle East. Russia. As of Q2 2010. Vietnam. mobile phones are taking an ever-expanding role in our daily lives. smartphone users skew male everywhere but US Smartphone v. demonstrating how culture. Italy has the highest smartphone penetration among youth 15-24. Spain and Italy. The Nielsen Company analyzes and tracks mobile usage in North America. 28 percent of US mobile subscribers had smartphones. 55 percent were male. we’ll highlight mobile youth data from Brazil. These factors affect device selection. US. payment and usage. 2 . while penetration among older adults in Europe is 27 percent. Usage patterns vary greatly among youth throughout the world. All countries tend to skew male in smartphone adoption with one notable exception—the US. Feature Phone. where 55 percent of smartphone users age 15-24 are female. Africa. China. 15-24 H1 2010 20% 34% 38% 39% 39% 43% 47% 55% 80% 66% 62% 61% 61% 57% 53% 45% US India Germany Italy China Spain Russia Male Source: H1 2010 UK Female Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company.

Outside the United States. In China. Age 15-24 H1 2010 71% 78% 79% 80% 84% 84% 85% 86% 29% 22% Brazil 21% Russia 20% Germany Yes 16% UK No 16% Spain 15% India 14% China Italy Source: The Nielsen Company Young people choose their own mobile devices 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Person Responsible for Device Selection H1 2010 How did they choose their device? Person responsible for device selection An overwhelming majority of young people throughout the world choose their own devices. only 16 percent of young people’s parents chose their phone. youths use multiple SIMs 9 percent less than the adult average. India and China (BRIC) among youth. where adults 25+ have a lower usage rate.Multiple SIM Cards One distinguishing factor of the US versus other countries’ mobile behavior is multiple-SIM card usage. 3 Ch i Sp Br In US ly na . it is not unusual for people to swap the SIM card in their phone in order to take advantage of different tariffs and lower cost in-network calling from mobile carriers. Multiple SIM usage is even more common in Brazil. Italian youth claim their primary reason is to take advantage of different tariffs and free text messages. young multiple SIM users are most likely to do so because of the ability to have different numbers for different people. Italy is leading in multiple SIM usage Multiple SIM usage. In Europe. Some device manufacturers are taking advantage of this trend by creating devices that make it easy for consumers to insert multiple SIMs into the same phone at the same time. il UK ia n y a an az Ita ss di ai rm Ge Ru Self Employer Spouse/Partner/ Boyfriend/Girlfriend Source: The Nielsen Company Parent(s) Friend(s) Other Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company. In terms of the motivation behind having more than one SIM. Across the countries surveyed. Russia.

Outside the United States. Around 14 percent of Brazilian adults say design/ style is the most important consideration. which are often contract based. young people in the US are much less likely to 2% Prepaid G er m Postpaid Prepaid/Postpaid. Adults in these countries rated price the most important consideration. the minutes people can talk are paid for prior to use and require minimal credit history. often due to a lack of the required infrastructure and ecosphere to track credit history. US ia a a ly US 81% 19% a il a ia n 4 . also commonly referred to as “pay as you go. postpaid Prepaid. Age 15-24 H1 2010 2% 3% 10% 15% 42% 43% 98% 97% 90% 85% 58% 57% 41% 40% 24% 59% 60% 76% ly UK Br az an y di in ss Ch Ita Ru How do they pay for their phones? Prepaid v. Youth aged 15 to 24 put price as the first purchase driver.Price is top ranked purchase driver in all countries Brazil 31% 19% Russia 40% 10% 21% Design/Style 18% Price 12% Phone Brand/ Previous Experience Price India 12% Battery Life 10% Design/Style Price Design/Style Form/Shape China 14% Form/Shape Source: The Nielsen Company US 10% Design/Style 22% Price 14% QWERTY input 12% Design/Style 14% Price Purchase Drivers Price was the most common consideration in selecting a mobile phone for young people. 21 percent of whom placed design/style first. prepaying for service is a common method. compared to 7 percent of US adults. Unlike postpaid services. with the exception of Russian youth. though that is true among other age groups. Prepaid/Postpaid among youth is comparable to general population Prepaid/Postpaid. too. Age 25+ H1 2010 7% 13% 23% 33% 48% 59% Sp 78% In ai Sp ai 98% 93% 87% 77% 67% 52% 41% 22% an y n Br az il ss Ch In Ita UK di in Ru Prepaid Source: The Nielsen Company Postpaid G er m Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company. At 24 percent. too.” is a method of payment where mobile credit is bought before the service is activated.

while Italy has the lowest. This data is consistent with the global adult population. except postpaid as a majority tends to slightly increase in the 25+ bracket. The US has the lowest rate of personal payment among ages 20-24. with only 45 percent of youth in that age bracket paying for their own service. Eighty-three percent of US youth use advanced data. Germany and Brazil are tied for the highest percentage of teens who say they pay their own bill.prepay than the emerging markets. Across the countries surveyed. Personal payment increases 30% on average once teens move into young adulthood Pay for own mobile service. Germany Brazil UK Russia India US Spain Italy Pay for own mobile service. Age 20-24 H1 2010 88% 84% 82% 80% 66% 65% 54% 45% How do they use their phones? Advanced data usage Youth in China and the US lead the way among young mobile subscribers who use advanced data. which may be a more suitable age for a contractual agreement. Eighty-four percent of Chinese youth use their phones beyond voice and text compared to 47 percent of Chinese adults. Age 15-24 H1 2010 Chart Title 2% 14% 6% 12% 3% 27% 6% 7% 10% 14% 11% 35% 32% 38% 48% 26% 31% 84% 83% 71% 68% 62% 58% 47% 40% 51% 13% China US Russia Advanced Data User UK Italy SMS/Voice user Spain Germany Voice-only user Brazil India Source: The Nielsen Company Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company. 5 . which all have prepaid rates over 85 percent. personal payment increases on average thirty percent once mobile users exit their teen years. Age 15-19 H1 2010 56% 56% 52% 47% 35% 27% 25% 21% Person responsible for mobile charges Personal payment for mobile charges increases as teens move into young adulthood. Russia Germany Brazil UK Source: The Nielsen Company Spain Italy India US Chinese youth lead the way in advanced data usage Advanced Data Users. 32 percent higher than US adults.

but only by a 4 percent margin. females have at least a 10 percent higher rate than males who use messaging services. young Chinese advanced data users have a significantly higher mobile internet usage rate than the rest of the world.Types of Advanced Data Usage At 70 percent. Chinese youth lead in mobile internet usage. except for a few outliers. In the UK and US. Source: The Nielsen Company UK has over 20% more mobile internet users than other European countries Features used in the last 30 days. females have at least a 10 percent higher rate of messaging use than males. except for China and India Messaging. In the UK and US. 15-24 73% H1 2010 47% 45% 48% 39% 39% 39% 29% 26% 23% 19% 5% 5% 6% 5% 5% 7% 4% 7% 2% 4% 3% 4% 33% 33% 26%26% 29% 24% 14% China US Mobile Internet Screensaver Downloads Russia Ringtone Downloads Game Downloads Brazil Instant Messaging Email India Text and Picture Messaging Messaging tends to skew female in the majority of markets. 15-24 46% H1 2010 24% 15% 9% 10% 15% 14% 15% 15% 6% 8% 10% 10% 21% 13% 11% 9% 13% 9% 10% 25%23% 22% 16% 20% 11% 9% 12% UK Germany Mobile internet Email Game downloads Ringtone downloads Italy App Downloads Instant messaging Screensaver/Wallpaper Downloads Spain Source: The Nielsen Company SMS and MMS messaging generally skews female. Age 15-24 SMS Text Messaging China India Russia Brazil US Spain Italy Germany UK Source: The Nielsen Company H1 2010 48% 52% MMS Picture Messaging China 48% 52% 18% 49% 51% 49% 51% 41% 59% 82% 30% 50% 50% 53% 47% 45% 55% 70% India Russia Brazil US Spain Italy Germany UK Female Male 52% 48% 51% 49% 49% 51% 42% 58% 50% 50% 52% 48% 40% 37% 60% 63% Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company. Indian males are twice as likely as Indian females to use mobile messaging. Among European youth. 6 . with over 20 percent more usage than other European countries. those in the UK are more likely to use mobile internet. China also skews slightly male in both types of messaging. US top mobile e-mail users Features used in the last 30 days.

The parents of Vietnamese teenagers tend to be responsible for paying for their kids’ mobile services. and half of these young people already use mobile services. compared to 7 percent of Vietnamese mobile users of all ages. But when it comes to understanding the purchase behaviors of mobile youth —particularly with regard to service choices—it is important to distinguish between teens and young adults. who tend to control the purse strings. Promotions become more important when youth have to pay for mobile services themselves. Half subscribe to mobile services. Like most emerging countries. Teens Who Pays Amount Frequency Parents Young Adults Self: Pocket Money 100.000vnd is more each time preferred 1-2 times a month 2-3 times a month Wait for promotions. unlike the United States where mobile users enter into a long-term contract with a particular wireless operator and pay on a monthly basis. Promotions do not seem Youth ages 15 to 24 make up 20% of population.000 vnd) each time. Vietnamese mobile users pay in advance for their mobile service and then “top up” their minutes when these run out. too. Their increased price-sensitivity is because they are now paying for their own mobile service. 7 . Young adults increasingly make their own choices. They will actually wait for the right promotion to top up. Nine percent of them access the mobile internet on a regular basis compared to 3 percent of all Vietnamese mobile users. or top up even if they don’t need the minutes just to take advantage of a promotion. They tend to spend half as much as the parents of teenagers (50.000 vnd once or twice a month and pay to top up their kids’ phones as needed.000vnd/ 50. Like their counterparts in other countries. Vietnam is primarily a prepaid market. 2009 01% 09% 00% 03% to affect the top-up behavior of teens or better that of their parents who actually pay for it.Mobile Youth in Vietnam Twenty percent of the Vietnamese population is between the ages of 15 and 24. Populations Youth Market 54% >24 years old 48% 20% 15-24 years old -24 Current users 35% 26% <15 years old Prospective users Non-users 17% Source: The Nielsen Company Vietnamese youth use more advanced data than other age segments Young Generation 2009 2010 Avg. Other Ages 2009 2010 Multimedia Services 10% 18% 06% 07% Mobile Internet Source: Mobile Insights 2010. are more subject to peer influence and have more control over their own pocket money. perhaps two or three times a month. Teenagers’ decisions are still guided by their parents. That is. Eighteen percent use multimedia services. But promotions are very important to young adults ages 18-24. but top up more frequently. top up even if not needed in promo period Promotions Top up on need basis Source: The Nielsen Company Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company. They tend to spend 100. These distinctions are particularly apparent when we look at how young people choose their mobile service. young people in Vietnam use more data than average.

is now less important—it is now in a virtual tie with the general desire to stay in touch with friends. average about 753 minutes per month. Teen females.Q2 2010.US Teen Texting If it seems like American teens are texting all the time. Text usage by age Q2 2009 . Safety. which was the main reason for getting a phone in 2008.339 texts a month. Now. who send and receive an average of 4. teens texted instead of calling because it was fun.250/3. Nielsen analyzed mobile usage data among teens in the United States for the second quarter of 2010 (April 2010 – June 2010). considering it easier (22 percent) and faster (20 percent) than voice calls (though still fun). sending and receiving an average of 2. Using recent data from monthly cell phone bills of more than 60. Customer Value Metrics.000 teens. National 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 13-17 18-24 25-34 QTR 2. Young adults (age 18-24) come in a distant second. while males use around 525 minutes. it’s probably because on average they’re sending or receiving 3.630 texts per month (a comparatively meager three texts per hour). who average 646 minutes talking on the phone per month.000 mobile subscribers as well as survey data from over 3. No one texts more than teens (age 13-17).539 texts. 78 percent of teens recognize the functionality and convenience of text messaging.128) Text messaging Safety Keeping in touch with friends Keeping in touch with family Always be available Convenience Friends have cell phone Avoid having to borrow a cell phone Avoid having to use family home phone Privacy Source: The Nielsen Company 43% 42% 35% 34% 34% 36% 26% 25% 22% 22% 20% 20% 17% 18% 15% 15% 11% 11% 10% 11% Q2 2010 Q2 2009 Number One Reason for Getting a Phone? It’s Not Safety Anymore Texting is currently the centerpiece of mobile teen behavior. Voice activity has decreased 14 percent among teens. which explains why QWERTY input is the first thing they look for when choosing their devices. Teen males also outpace other male age groups. who are more social with their phones. only adults over 55 talk less than teens.050 texts per month. previous year Teens’ Top Reasons for Mobile Adoption Teen Subscribers (n=3. exchanging 1. While voice consumption rises and peaks at age 24. Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company. ’09 35-44 45-54 QTR 2. That’s more than six per hour they’re awake—an 8 percent jump from last year. ’10 55-64 65+ Source: The Nielsen Company Top reasons for mobile adoption vs. Forty-three percent claim it is their primary reason for getting a cell phone or mobile device. 8 . Texting is Easier and Faster than Voice Calls All of this texting activity has come at the expense of voice. Last year. especially teen females.

from 26 to 38 percent.Q2 2010. ’09 Source: The Nielsen Company 35-44 45-54 QTR 2. This includes popular apps such as Facebook.Data and Apps are Rising Stars Ninety-four percent of teen subscribers self-identify as advanced data users. multimedia. ’09 QTR 2. Pandora and YouTube. internet.200 1. from 14 MB to 62 MB. This fourfold increase is the largest jump among all age groups. compared to 11 MB a year ago. who are more gadget-savvy and consume 75 MB of data. 9 . gaming and other activities like downloads. ’10 40% 13-17 Source: The Nielsen Company 18-24 49% Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company. ringtone downloads and instant messaging. it has increased substantially versus Q2 last year. too. While teen usage does not reach levels of activity seen by young adults. Voice usage by age Q2 2009 .000 800 600 400 200 0 13-17 18-24 25-34 QTR 2.MB QTR 2. Young Adult Usage . turning to their cell phones for messaging. National 1. Teens are not only using more data. Teen females use about 53 MB of data. Software downloads among teen subscribers who use apps enjoyed a solid 12 percent increase in activity versus last year. versus 17 MB in Q2 last year. Much of this boost is led by males. ’10 55-64 65+ National data usage among teens Q2 2009 vs. Q2 2010 Reported Application Usage (Use in Last 30 Days) Picture Messaging/MMS 40% 49% 26% 38% 30% 38% 30% 38% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 55% 62% Mobile internet 38% Software downloads 38% Email Text Alerts Customer Value Metrics 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Teen vs. Customer Value Metrics. but they are also downloading a wider range of applications. Other mobile activities like mail and text alerts have also seen significant growth. Usage of the mobile web has also surpassed activity on pre-installed games.

television and other media measurement. with headquarters in New York. Other product and service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Printed in the USA.com. trade shows and business publications.000 5. please visit www. For more information.000 5. 10/2510 10 . including the countries listed below.500 5. The sample sizes indicated in the chart reflect all respondents. All rights reserved.000 5.C. mobile measurement. Copyright © 2010 The Nielsen Company. L.L. The privately held company is active in approximately 100 countries.000 Cadence Quarterly Q1 Quarterly Quarterly Q1 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q2 Regional Coverage National National National National National 10 urban cities 9 urban cities Tier 1.000 8. USA.000 5.Mobile Insights Coverage In 2010.nielsen. The Nielsen Company surveyed mobile consumers in 19 countries. and 3 cities 22 telecom circles About The Nielsen Company The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information. Nielsen and the Nielsen logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of CZT/ACN Trademarks. 2.000 5. Global Coverage US Germany Spain Italy UK Brazil Russia China India Methodology Online Online Online Online Online Face to Face Face to Face Face to Face Face to Face Sample (per wave) 75. not just youth.000 5. online intelligence.

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