It’s not surprising that adult members of the Millenial generation are leading the way when it comes to owning mobile computing and telecoms devices. They’re also by far the most likely to make more and greater use of them, according to results of the “Generations and Their Gadgets” study released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

While cellphones are the most owned electronic gadgets by adults across all adult age groups in the survey, and desktops are similarly owned widely across all age groups, “Millenials are the only generation that is more likely to own a laptop computer or netbook than a desktop.” Some key study findings include:

  • Cell phones are by far the most popular device among American adults. Some 85% of adults own cell phones, and 90% of all adults—including 62% of those age 75 and older—live in a household with at least one working cell phone.


  • Desktop computers are most popular with adults ages 35-65, and Millennials are the only generation that is more likely to own a laptop computer or netbook than a desktop: 70% own a laptop, compared with 57% who own a desktop.


  • Seventy percent own a laptop or netbook as compared to the 57% who own a desktop, according to the Pew Center project team. Millenials, moreover, are by far more likely to own an mp3 player: 74% of adults between 18 and 34 own an mp3 player compared to 56% of Gen Xers ages 35-46, the next oldest generation.


  • Almost half of all adults own an iPod or other mp3 player, but these are still most popular with Millennials—74% of adults ages 18-34 own an mp3 player, compared with only 56% of the next oldest generation, Gen X (ages 35-46).


  • Game consoles are uniformly popular with all adults ages 18-46, 63% of whom own these devices.


  • Overall, 5% of adults own an e-book reader, and 4% own an iPad or other tablet computer.

When it comes to making use of cell phone features, two non-voice functions are widely popular across all age groups: 76% of respondents reported using them to take pictures and 72% said they use them to send and receive text messages. Millenials, by contrast, also use them to access the Internet, sending and receiving emails, playing games, listening to music and recording videos.

At the other end of the age spectrum, some 9% of adults, about 1 in 11, do not own any of the devices asked about, including 43% of adults ages 75 and older. They are ‘gadgetless.’

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