Take a Glimpse into the Future of Mobile

New research shows how users regard their mobile device

You don’t have to know the exact numbers to know that mobile usage is huge.

According to a new study by Experian Simmons, 227 million Americans own a cell phone. This includes 91% of adults, 74% of teens and 22% of kids.

Among adults, the 22-24 age group accounts for the highest level of mobile phone ownership at 98%. The 65+ age group is currently the lowest for ownership numbers, but it is growing the quickest as it’s increased by 52% between 2006 and 2010.

Mobile consumer segments

From the data compiled in the study, Experian Simmons used behaviors and attitudes of consumers to create defining segments. These consumer segments include:

Mobirati: These individuals grew up with cell phones. The devices aren’t new to them and are integral parts of their lives.

Social Connectors: These individuals are social creators that use their cell phones to stay in touch and up-to-date with friends and events. Their cell phones allow them to stay social to the degree they desire.

Mobile Professionals: Mobile devices are necessary for these individuals to do their jobs efficiently and stay engaged in their personal lives as well.

Pragmatic Adopters: These users did not grow up with cell phones in their lives. Instead, cell phones became popular when they were adults. These users have learned to accept the use of cell phones in their lives.

Basic Planners: These individuals only use cell phones for the basic activity of placing calls when necessary.

Adults were lumped into these groups almost equally: Social Connectors (22%), Basic Planners (21%), Mobirati (20%), Pragmatic Adopters (20%) and Mobile Professionals (18%).

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Mobile activities

Activities that mobile device users are engaging in are important to online publishers and content marketers since we all want to reach our audiences where they prefer to be reached.

According to the study, 73% of all cell phone users have used their device to take pictures within the last 30 days.

Additionally, nearly 60% of smartphone users surf the web and have used email.

The report pinpoints the act of watching online video as the next big thing since 18% of all cell phone owners have streamed or uploaded video content on their device. For those who own smartphones, 27% have watched video content.

Conclusions

Although mobile phones have small screens, owners are still using them to engage in social and entertaining activities they enjoy.

For publishers who want to reach their audience via mobile, they should optimize their sites for mobile, utilize visual imagery including photos and video and consider creating mobile apps (20.7 million cell phone owners reported downloading an app in the last month.)

When it comes to apps themselves, 87% have downloaded a free app, although 58% have reported paying for one in the past.

This report includes a lot more information, including the types of mobile phones each consumer segment prefers and the types of mobile apps that have been downloaded. Take a look at it if you want more information on the mobile market.

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