US Teenage Girls Mature with Mobile Phones Earlier than US Teenage Boys Print

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., July 29, 2008—In 2007, 91% of US 17-year-old girls had cellphones whereas only 78% of US 17-year-old boys had cellphones according to a recent study by MultiMedia Intelligence. The difference is quite striking as there is little difference in handset ownership between the genders at age 13, with 57 percent of teenagers having cellphones.


Not only is the net difference in the gains between the genders quite striking, but also the manner in which the gains are made. When one segments teenage girls by age, one sees steady gains in cellular owners by segment. However, teen male segments see strong ownership gain at two particular ages: at age 13 and at age 16. In 2006, 13 year old teen boys with cellphones accounted for about one million subscribers, over 40% higher than the 12 year old teen boy segment. Likewise, the number of 16 year old teen boy cellular subscribers in 2007 numbered over 1.6 million, almost 30% higher than the 15 year old teen boy group. By comparison, the difference between 16 year old and 15 year old teen girls was only 6%.

“The teen market is an especially appealing market for two reasons. First, it is a primary source of new subscribers for carriers. Second, teens teach older demographic how to use their handsets,” according to Frank Dickson, Chief Research Officer with MultiMedia Intelligence. “However, the differences in the cellphone consumption patterns among the teen segments are remarkable and need to be noted. Targeting teens at the right age and gender is critical to maximize subscriber gains. Targeting teens at the wrong age and not considering gender will cause operators to miss the boat.” Key findings regarding teen wireless subscribers include:


  • The US 12-17 teen cellular subscribers surpassed 16 million in 2007. This is up 12% from 2006.


  • By 2012, the number of teen subscribers will reach 17 million, a delta of only 1 million subscribers from 2007. Wireless penetration rates for teens are reaching saturation, resulting in stagnating growth. Since the teen market is not a multiple handset demographic, subscriber growth is forced to slow.


  • Subscriber growth is seasonal, with Q3 and Q4 the stronger quarters.


  • The Hispanic teen market has become significant, projected to approach 3 million subscribers by 2012.


The research, "The Maturing Wireless Teen Market: 12-17 US Teen Wireless Subscribers, Revenue, ARPU and Content," analyzes the US 12-17 year old teen wireless market in terms of subscribers, ARPU, and revenue. Forecasts and segmentation are provided on an annual and a quarterly basis by race, age and sex. A special emphasis is placed on examining the market on a gender by age perspective as well as the Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. The research relies on the strength of supply side models of MultiMedia Intelligence and primary-based survey data of 2,000 to 2,500 teens annually from the Simmons National Consumer study, a product of Experian Consumer Research. The result is integrated research, creating exceptional insights on an under researched market.

This research is a result of MultiMedia Intelligence's strategic partnership with Experian. The partnership combines MultiMedia Intelligence's vast industry expertise, market sizing and forecasting models and databases with Experian's in-depth data on consumer behavior, psychographics, lifestyles, opinions and attitudes. Together, they deliver industry-first market segmentation, insights and forecasts based on combined superior supply-side and demand-side views of the markets, never before offered in this data driven, data hungry market.

About Multimedia Intelligence

MultiMedia Intelligence, a market research and consultancy firm, specializes on the markets and technologies for delivering and monetizing digital content and services across multiple platforms. We look beyond the classic 'three screens,' which include TVs, mobile handsets, and computers. We put markets into the broader context of the industry ecosystems that are converging and changing traditional business models.

About Experian Consumer Research

Experian Consumer Research (ECR) is the home of the Simmons suite of consumer studies which have been The Voice of the American Consumer(TM) for more than 50 years. The Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) and the Simmons National Hispanic Consumer Study (NHCS) are accredited by the Media Ratings Council (MRC).

Rick Sizemore

(480) 213-4151

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it