FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Nearly Half of all US Kids Own Cell Phones

A recent survey by the global research firm NOP World has found that 44% of US children between the ages of 10 and 18 own cell phones. The percentage of 15-to-17-year-olds owning cell phones jumped from 42% in 2002 to 75% in 2004.

The survey also found that kids are interested in multifunctional phones, such as camera phones and those that can play MP3 music files. This suggests that cell phone usage may increase even more among young people as phones become available with more functions.

The young people surveyed also indicated a high level of brand loyalty, with 77% staying with their original carrier, and only 11% looking to switch within the next six months. However, this might have something to do with many kids being on family plans, where the parents make the purchasing decisions.

Of all the major cell phone carriers, Verizon and Cingular had by far the highest levels of brand awareness, with nearly half the respondents recognizing those names. Sprint, AT&T (now owned by Cingular) and T-Mobile came in a distant third, fourth and fifth respectively. Much of this is surely due to aggressive advertising on the part of Verizon and Cingular. Teens' brand-consciousness gives those two carriers a distinct advantage; teens may also carry that brand loyalty with them as they enter adulthood, offering recommendations, buying cell phones for family members and influencing the choices of their employers.

Source: eMarketer