Over a period of four weeks this summer Mobile World Live carried out research on the behaviour and preferences of a small group of UK-based students, between the ages of 16 and 25, in order to learn about their mobile phone usage habits. A sample of just over 100 people was selected. The aim of the survey was to understand which mobile services are proving popular with this sector of the population and which services offer untapped opportunities with potential for growth.
The report is split into five sections. The first section is below. Click a link above to access another section:
– Neha Khaliq, Special to Mobile World Live
Mobile ownership and behaviour
1) How many mobile devices do you own (e.g. feature phone/smartphone/tablet)?
2) Do you own a feature phone or a smartphone?
3) Do you own a tablet?
Of the students surveyed, just under half (45 per cent) said they own a tablet. Considering that 48 per cent of our sample own more than one mobile device, it is likely that tablets serve as the first choice for a secondary device amongst those aged 16-25.
4) Typically, how long is the interval between waking up and looking at your phone?
Students are smartphone addicts: An overwhelming 83 per cent of those surveyed check their phone within 5 minutes of waking up, and almost all (97 per cent) will look at their phone within 15 minutes. For almost half of the respondents, it’s the first thing they do when waking.
5) How many times a day do you look at your phone?
6) Which of the below dominates your daily mobile phone use? Choose only one.
More than half (55 per cent) of the sample surveyed use their mobile device primarily for messaging, and around a third said social media dominated their mobile phone use throughout the day (32 per cent). These results also suggest that voice calls (1 per cent) are dying out as a core activity, at least for those aged 16-25, and communication now depends upon a combination of so-called ‘over-the-top’ messaging apps and social media content.
7) Is your phone useful when studying?
Of the sample surveyed, only about a third (31 per cent) said they find their mobile phone useful when studying. Those who favour using their mobile phones while studying cited the ability to research efficiently, stream/download educational videos, read articles on the go, and use their institution’s mobile app for timetables and portals.
These results would suggest that there is an untapped opportunity for mobile devices to be more tailored to, and integrated with, academic institutions, through educational mobile apps and tools. It is possible that many of the majority, who do not find their mobile device useful for studying, are simply unaware of the opportunities to complement and enhance their work through mobile apps.
8) What are your top three favourite apps? Please specify.
It is significant that the three mobile apps that top these results are owned by Facebook, suggesting the social network company dominates the market amongst 16-25 year olds. Recent media coverage has suggested that Facebook is in danger of losing its appeal with the under-30 age group, but these results suggest Mark Zuckerberg’s company is alive and well amongst students.
9) Do you consider your mobile phone as something you couldn’t live without?
Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of the sample surveyed said they consider their mobile phone as something they could not live without, while just under a third (29 per cent) of people claim they they could live without their phone.
It is perhaps surprising that ‘only’ 71 per cent can’t live without their phone, considering that a staggering 97 per cent of our sample claim they look at their phones within 15 minutes of waking up.