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Higher Education Marketing

Generational Divide in Mobile Use

Date posted: August 9, 2011

According to a recent US study, there is a wide generational gap in regard to mobile device preferences. Affinity Research has found that older consumers are favouring tablets and e-readers, while younger users are still flocking to smartphones.

Among the findings, the research observed:

  • Gen Xers are 16% more likely to have a tablet
  • Baby boomers are 19% more likely to own an e-reader
  • Millennials are 28% more likely to have a smartphone

When it comes to the Gen Xers’ numbers, they may look a bit different if you also consider a study by GfK MRI, which adds e-readers into the mix. The GfK MRI findings indicate that a Gen Xer is 25% more likely than the average US adult to own a tablet or e-reader (A higher level of income may play a part in this divide).

As you can see, however, the younger demographic surpasses all in terms of smartphone adoption, with millennials 28% more likely than the average consumer to own a smartphone. In fact, 46.5 million millennials already have a smartphone. What’s more, Affinity reports that more than 24 million millennials plan to purchase a smartphone in the next six months, which means this large demographic is still growing at an explosive rate.

These findings back up our previous Mobile Marketing discussion and highlight the need for a mobile strategy. With every day, the range of prospective students experiencing the Web from mobile device increases, making it important for schools to go mobile. The future is here.