Consumers in the 18-to-24 Age Segment View Cell Phones as Multi-Functional Accessories; Crave Advanced Features and Personalization Options

Wireless Users in the 25-to-34 Age Segment Most Likely to Access the Internet via Their Cell Phones

Comscore Networks Releases Wireless Consumer Segmentation Analysis

RESTON, VA. January 22, 2007 – Comscore Networks, a leader in measuring the digital age, today released a study of wireless consumer segments, the second in a two-part series that analyzes trends in the wireless industry. Based on a survey of U.S. consumers who use a wireless phone, this report analyzes differences in behavior and attitudes among the following key wireless consumer segments:

  • The Cellular Generation – Ages 18 to 24, these young adults grew up with cell phone awareness, experiencing cell phones as a part of their everyday lives.
  • Transitioners – Ages 25 to 34, these people fall in between two distinct groups: those who grew up with cell phone knowledge and those who did not. Cell phones began to infiltrate everyday life during their teen years and early adulthood.
  • Adult Adopters – Age 35 or older, this group was not exposed to cell phone until adulthood. Adult Adopters tend to have the most functional view of cell phones, with many requiring just the basics and showing limited interest in emerging technologies.

“During the past decade, cell phones have dramatically changed the communication habits of American consumers,” said Serge Matta, senior vice president of Comscore Telecommunications Solutions. “While the youngest consumers grew up with the technology, those just a few years older did not, resulting in some pronounced differences in attitudes and behaviors towards cell phone usage across the various user segments. As cell phones continue to evolve in terms of design, functionality, and features, it is vital that cell phone providers and manufacturers understand the differing needs and desires of these distinct consumer segments.”

Cellular Generation Views Their Cell Phones as Accessories

Cell phones offer far more than simply a means of voice communication. They can provide entertainment, convey social status, and express one’s individuality. While consumers in both the Cellular Generation and Transitioners are likely to view their cell phones as multi-dimensional devices, adult adopters tend to have a more functional view. Approximately one-quarter of both the Cellular Generation (26 percent) and Transitioners (25 percent) said that “trendiness” was of high importance when selecting a cell phone, as compared to just 10 percent of Adult Adopters. Additionally, 41 percent of Cellular Generation consumers strongly agree with the statement “I like my cell phone to be personalized” with options such as color schemes and ring tones, while only 19 percent of Adult Adopters feel the same.

The Cellular Generation clearly places the greatest value on additional features, with 57 percent ranking text messaging of “high importance” when selecting a wireless carrier and 25 percent stating the same for instant messaging, in both cases higher than their more senior counterparts. Forty-two percent of the Cellular Generation said that a camera was of high importance when selecting a wireless phone and 20 percent said the same of an MP3 Player. In comparison, a lower 30 percent of Adult adopters felt that having a camera was of high importance, and just 8 percent felt the same about an MP3 Player.

Cell Phone Attitudes by Consumer Segment
October 25, 2006 – November 1, 2006
n = 1,708
Source: Comscore Networks Wireless Report
  Percent of Respondents
Cellular Generation Transitioners Adult Adopters
High Importance* When Selecting a Wireless Carrier
Text-Messaging 57% 43% 23%
Multimedia Messaging 18% 18% 8%
Instant Messaging 25% 22% 13%
High Importance* When Selecting a Cell Phone
Text Messaging 58% 46% 30%
Camera 42% 37% 30%
Trendiness 26% 25% 10%
MP3 Player 20% 19% 8%
I like my phone to be personalized (i.e. color, ring tones, etc.)**
Strongly Disagree 13% 25% 45%
Strongly Agree 41% 32% 19%

* High importance = selecting a 6 or 7 rating on a 7-point scale
** Strongly disagree = selecting a 1 or 2 rating; Strongly agree = selecting a 6 or 7 rating on a 7-point scale

Transitioners Most Likely to Access the Internet on their Cell Phones

More than three-quarters of both the Cellular Generation and Transitioners have the option to access the Internet on their cell phones, but Transitioners (29 percent) are more likely to subscribe to Internet services than the Cellular Generation (23 percent). Adult adopters have been the slowest to adopt this behavior, with just 13 percent currently subscribing to the Internet on their cell phones while 42 percent either lack, or are unaware of the option of doing so.

Cell Phone Internet Usage by Consumer Segment
October 25, 2006 – November 1, 2006
n = 1,180
Source: Comscore Networks Wireless Report
  Percent of Respondents
Cellular Generation Transitioners Adult Adopters
Currently Subscribe 23% 29% 13%
Subscribed in the Past 22% 19% 9%
Never Subscribed 33% 27% 36%
Unaware of/Don't have Option 22% 25% 42%

Wireless industry professionals and members of the media may request a copy of the full report at:

About This Study
Comscore's Wireless Consumer Segmentation analysis provides a comprehensive analysis of the behavior and attitudes of wireless phone subscribers among different consumer segments. The report is based on a survey of U.S. consumers who use a wireless phone, and analyzes consumers’ satisfaction with wireless carriers, carrier switching behavior and usage of wireless features that go beyond voice communication, including wireless Internet. For the purposes of this report, Comscore conducted a survey among members of Comscore’s panel of more than two million online consumers who have given Comscore permission to track their complete behavior on the Internet.

Methodology Details

Population: U.S. Internet users who use cellular phones for personal use
Time Period: October 25, 2006 – November 1, 2006
Survey Mode: E-mail survey sent to Comscore panelists
Number of Respondents: 1,708

Contributing analysts: Serge Matta, Brian Jurutka, Gillian Heltai, Ian Winstanleyand Elizabeth Emmart


About Comscore Networks

Comscore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given Comscore explicit permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. Comscore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, Comscore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. Comscore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. Comscore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, AT&T, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestlé, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit

Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510


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