Younger, More Savvy Consumers Are Ready to Adopt New Mobile Technologies, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 28, 2002 – Consumers are highly evolved when it comes to their personal electronics, and their savvy is translating into increased usage of PDAs, notebook PCs, and mobile phones. In addition, IDC research finds younger age groups tend to be early adopters of a variety of technologies.


According to a recent survey of more than 1,700 members of IDC's Mobile Advisory Council*, younger users have a clear migration plan for adopting new wireless technologies, depending upon the device. When it comes to interest in PDAs equipped with integrated wireless features, nearly 23% of 20-29 year olds and 24.5% of 30-39 year olds said they plan to use an integrated wireless PDA in the next 12 months. These results decline in all other age groups.

"The key towards growth in the mobile market going forward will be in delivering solutions to younger generations of consumers, who have not settled into specific usability patterns dictated by past devices and applications," said Randy Giusto, IDC Vice President, Wireless and Mobile Devices and PC

Technology. "Younger people are less averse to change and will be more eager to accept converging technologies and new converged devices that sprout from the wireless landscape ahead."

Key Findings

Consumers prefer to purchase via a variety of channels depending upon the device of interest, and those preferences will change as more wireless-enabled devices debut and are sold through carriers and other means of distribution.

Entertainment-focused audio applications rated high with consumers for use on certain devices such as notebooks and PDAs.

Consumers already have many different consumer electronics products, so multifunction mobile devices must perform at higher levels to beco appealing.

IDC's Mobile User team has segmented consumers based on their ownership and usage of mobile devices and consumer electronics in the home. This

segmentation includes seven distinct categories, including broadbanders, digital creators, entertainment-to-goers, big screeners, gamers, off-duty mobile professionals, and technophiles.

IDC's study Mobilizing the Consumer (IDC #27785) details the latest survey findings from IDC's Mobile User panel on consumer mobile technology ownership, application preference, and buying patterns. The survey findings reveal insights on the needs and wants of consumers by age group and by segmentation category. Full survey results were previously published in Fun on the Run: Mobile Consumer Survey Results (IDC #27414).

To purchase this study, as well as the full survey results, please contact Jim Nagle at 508-935-4549 or email

*IDC's Mobile Advisory Council — a panel of over 12,000 users and buyers of mobile devices (e.g., mobile phones, PDAs, notebook PCs, and two-way pagers) — is surveyed each quarter on a variety of topics as part of IDC's Mobile User service, which defines and explores the usage patterns of mobile users in enterprise, vertical, and consumer settings. As of July 2002, residents of 87 countries are panel members, with approximately 84% of the panel based in the United States.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in- depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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