Smartphone is primary screen for teens

Mobile services targeted towards teenagers must take into account the “intimate” connection they have with their handsets, according to a study carried out by Orange. This week the operator announced the findings of its Orange Exposure 2012/2013 study, conducted with research firm TNS, which revealed trends regarding subscribers’ mobile media habits across UK, France and Spain.

The study revealed distinct contrasts in mobile media behaviour between teenagers and adults in this year’s findings. Eleven to 18 year olds firmly perceive the mobile handset as the primary screen of choice, contrasting with adults, who see their phone as one of many in a multi-screen world.

Smartphone penetration is very high among teenagers, the study found. Eighty three per cent of UK teens have a smartphone and 95 per cent of Spanish teens have one.

BlackBerry penetration amongst teenagers in the UK and Spain was two and three times higher respectively than the overall mobile media user population, with iPhone penetration being low within the age group because of its cost.

The research also revealed that teenagers are very savvy when it comes to advertising, only engaging with brands and advertisements that meet their specific needs and exclusivity criteria. In the UK, 19 per cent would answer to an ad message – with ‘trust in the sender’ and ‘appeal of the offer’ the two main factors influencing response rate.

In addition, 92 per cent of teenagers in the UK say mobile is a “way to always have a media device at hand” and 55 per cent of teenagers in the UK say that they prefer their mobile over other equipment because its “mine and no one else’s” so “I can access what I want, when I want,” clearly indicating that teenagers value the personal quality of mobiles highly.

“The personal or emotional element of the phone is key for teenagers,” Bruce Hoang, group marketing director for Orange Advertising Network told “When delivering services to this market, it is important to take a personalised approach; mobile is an intimate experience for them, as you are entering their personal space.

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