This number jumps to 56 percent when teens who use or share a cellphone with their parents or other family members is factored in. In contrast, a much lower 22 percent of teens are on prepaid/hybrid plans.
“Family plans have clearly facilitated teen cellphone use, with nearly half of all teens saying that they own their cellphones, up significantly from one-third of teens from our 2003 survey,” says Linda Barrabee, Yankee Group Wireless/Mobile United States senior analyst. “The impact of family plans on the teen segment is even more compelling than the impact of alternative plans, such as prepaid/hybrid plans, which are similarly targeted at the youth market.”
“Carriers that want to play an increasing role within the teen segment need to balance the potential downside of family plans on their average revenue per user. Carriers working with vendors should also consider adding elements of prepaid/hybrid packages to family plans, so that parents can control spending and services use among teen family members on shared plans. This would certainly broaden their appeal,” says Barrabee.
The Yankee Group 2004 Mobile User Teen Survey, part of a suite of U.S. consumer mobile user surveys, provides insight into the spending of U.S. teens and helps service providers, device manufacturers, content providers, and retailers understand and leverage this attractive and influential market.