It used to be jewelry or clothing, but that’s so 20th century. Today, cell phones indicate one’s social status, at least among teens. This according to a new national study released by CTIA, studying teenagers and cell phones. “Teens are a pivotal segment of wireless users. As the first generation born into a wireless society, how they use their cell phones and what they expect of these devices in the future will drive the next wave of innovation in our industry,” says Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA. The study was sponsored by CTIA and conducted by Harris Interactive. Among notable study findings, teens revealed:
- nearly four out of every five teens (17 million) carry a wireless device daily
- 57% view their cell phone as the key to their social life and indicate cell phones have improved their quality of life
- 80% of teens surveyed said their cell phone provided a sense of security while on the go
- texting is so important to them that if texting was no longer an option, 47% of teens say their social life would end or be worsened
- 42% of teens say they can even text blindfolded
- 36% hate the idea of a cell phone feature allowing others to know their exact location
These findings aren’t all that surprising – we’ve all known about the implications of cell phones, especially among teens, for some time. But it’s good to refresh those thoughts from time to time. Telecom carriers, particularly wireline carriers, must recognize that these teens will be the paying customer base for telecom services sooner than we probably realize. Building product portfolios that meet these expectations will be critical in ensuring long term competitiveness. “Teens expect mobile technology to change the social fabric of their world and they have laid the future at the feet of this technology like no other,” says Joseph Porus, Vice President & Chief Architect, Technology Group, Harris Interactive.