FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What Young People Want in Cell Phones

The cell phone market for teens and young adults is evolving into something quite different than the market for older adults. The last thing kids want is the same kind of phone Mom and Dad carry. And for the hippest and geekiest, don't even talk about the Motorola Razr -- it's soooo 2005!

The cool phones for young trendsetters are the T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and Virgin Mobile's Switch_Back (both with retractable keyboard), the Boost Motorola i875 (with video camera, MP3 player and walkie-talkie ["chirp"]), and the Amp'd Hollywood (with downloadable video clips). Boost and Amp'd are "pay as you go" services that target the youth demographic with attractive extras such as videos and games, and affordable no-contract plans.

In addition to offering sophisticated phones, many youth-oriented services also intregrate with e-mail systems, instant message services, and even MySpace pages. Clearly, the customers of these carriers see regular phone services as just one of many communication offerings that they leverage routinely. Boost, for instance, says that 65% of its traffic consists of "chirp" messages rather than traditional phone calls.

Source: New York Times