Monday, 7 October 2013

Everything you need to know about the ‘mobile generation'

Technology can have a huge say in the way am entire generation acts – while in the 90’s we might have been talking about a ‘digital’ generation, the teens and young adults of the 2010’s could be considered as the ‘mobile’ generation. The people of this generation are permanently connected with technology, wherever they are – they use their phones, tablets and other mobile devices to check social media, talk to their friends, browse the web and check out businesses and shop. Technology takes a huge part of their lives and affects them in some way or another on a daily basis.

The biggest characteristic of the mobile generation, is, of course, the almost permanent use of mobile devices – they are constantly connected with the digital world. This is a notion that many outside this generation fail to fully understand. The world is drastically different from what it was 10, or even 5 years ago. The way we interact and consume content is very rapidly evolving, and smartphone and tablet usage evolves year after year. The businesses that want to succeed in this market have to make a considerable effort to understand this generation and be able to speak in its language.

The mobile generation will likely:
  • Check their smartphones first thing in the morning and last thing at night
  • Consume content (news, movies and TV shows, music, books, etc.) on their smartphones and tablets
  • Use their mobile devices to connect with their friends online, via social networks
  • Use their mobile devices to shop

The number of smartphone users grows rapidly every year, and the UK is no exception to this trend:


As you can see, it is estimated that the number of smartphone users in the UK will nearly double in just 5 years, from 2011 to 2016, when an estimated 62.2% of the population will own a smartphone. At this rate, it is probably safe to assume that very soon, smartphones will become the new norm in the UK, as well as other developed countries.
Smartphone penetration is usually at it’s highest among young adults and students, aged 18 to 24, followed closely by teenagers and adults aged 25 to 34:


Smartphone users are also increasingly using their mobile phones to access the Internet. From 2010 to 2013, the number of people accessing the Internet using their phones has nearly doubled, from 24% to 53% (Office for National Statistics).


The previous chart reveals that 16-24 year olds are also the most avid users of Internet on a mobile phone, followed closely by people in the 25-34 age group.
Another big characteristic among the mobile generation is the frequent use of social media. In the UK, social media is extremely popular. In fact, recent statistics reveal that the British are, right after the Netherlands, the most fervent users of social media in Europe (Daily Mail). The same report has found that nearly half of the UK’s 33 million Internet users access social networks every day – with a majority of these users between the ages of 16 and 24 years old. Many of these social media users take to mobile devices to access their social profiles:


Many smartphone users use their phones to make online searches. Studies have found that 30% of the searches conducted are for high street retailers, second only to ‘news’, the most searched for category at 54% (The Direct Marketing Association UK and New Media Trend Watch UK).  This shows that the mobile generation makes use of their mobile devices to check out businesses online and on the go. 
There is no denying the importance of mobile devices in the lives of millions of the UK’s residents. The number of people owning smartphones and other mobile devices is very rapidly increasing, and as technology evolves and prices drop, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices will become an essential part of even more people’s lives.

How important are smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices in your life? Let us know in you comments!