Who Are The Savviest Mobile Users? Generation Y

If you are an American between the ages of 24 and 32, there is a fairly high probability you own a smartphone. In fact, you probably have a laptop and a tablet to go with it. You have an average of 268 Facebook friends and own a high-definition television.

At least, that is the way research firm Forrester profiles you in its sixth annual State Of Consumers And Technology Benchmark report. The report finds that  Generation Y (defined as 24-32 years old) are at the pinnacle of Internet adoption and activity, are the most likely to own multiple connected devices (like smartphones, tablets and PCs) and are increasingly mobile. Generation Y has a 72% adoption rate for smartphones and uses them for all varieties of interaction with information and communication and commerce. About a quarter of the denizens of Generation Y have tablet computers, like iPads or Android slates. 

Overall, the United States has a 19% adoption rate of tablets. That means approximately one out of every five people you know likely have some type of tablet. Many people have several. 

Gen Y Likes The iPhone

Gen Y is the most likely to own an iPhone. About 29% of the generation say they own one of Apple’s popular smartphones, according to Forrester’s survey. Not surprisingly, Samsung is No. 2 in terms of adoption in that group, with 20% of Gen Y owning some type of Samsung smartphone, most likely one of its Galaxy S series devices. Overall, Samsung is the leading smartphone brand in the U.S., with a 24% adoption rate. More surprising is that LG ties Apple, with an 18% adoption rate. LG tends to skew older, though, with 20%-plus adoption rates for “Young Boomers,” “Older Boomers” and the Golden Generation (ages 65+). 

Motorola takes fourth place with 12%, ahead of HTC (8%) and BlackBerry/Nokia (5% each). That is a bit of a coup for Motorola, considering that it has fallen behind all of the other major Android manufacturers worldwide, including the struggling HTC. Motorola does reasonably well with its Verizon-branded Droid Razr series and its compact Droid Razr M was one of the best smartphones at its $99 price level when it was released in September. 

Gen Y The Most Savvy Mobile Users

When it comes to how people use their smartphones, Gen Y is by far the most advanced. Nearly all of Gen Y mobile users send an SMS text message monthly and access the Internet through their cellphones. Some 70% use cellphones to send and receive personal email, check news, sports and weather, and access social networking sites. The majority use their cellphones to listen to music, play games and research products for purchase. Only Gen Y’s younger siblings - Gen Zers - have similar breadth in any of those categories. But even they can't match the Gen Y's depth of smartphone usage.

When it comes to older generations, Gen X and Young Boomers tend to send and receive more texts on a monthly basis but no generation above Gen X accesses the Internet via a smartphone on majority basis. 

What can we conclude from this data?

First, it's critical to now your demographic. Commercial brand, mobile developers, social networkers, marketers and others need to remember that most mobile users are under 40. That is especially true for more advanced services, like mobile shopping, research or payments. Those market segment will continue to grow as the populous becomes more accustomed to conducting day-to-day business with mobile devices.

Top photo courtesy Shutterstock.