Older Generations Don’t Lag Far in Cell Use

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Despite impressions that the young people are the primary users of cell phones, a new study by InsightExpress found that mobile phone penetration is surprisingly close across different generations.

Eighty percent of survey respondents reporting ownership of a mobile phone, which is close to the 78 percent of Americans who have Internet access. When comparing generationally, Generation Y (ages 18-24) does outpace older generations and the national average with 85 percent cell phone ownership, but the gap is surprisingly small. Generation X (ages 25-44) still boasts 82 percent phone adoption, while younger Baby Boomers (45-54) get 80 percent and older Boomers (55-64) get 79 percent.

Wider gaps do start to show up, though, in generational use of the technology. Younger users are much more prone to text messaging, with 43 percent sending messages on a daily basis compared to just 10 percent of older Boomers. Likewise, younger users are more likely to own phones with advanced capabilities. Fifty-one percent of Generation Y respondents could access the mobile Internet through their phones, with smaller and smaller proportions of access with the rising age of each generation, down to just 32 percent of older Boomers.

InsightExpress conducted its study in July 2007 with a field of 2,015 respondents.