Jan. 11, 2011 at 3:42 PM ET
Texting is currently the centerpiece of mobile teen behavior. Forty-three percent claim it is their primary reason for getting a cell phone or mobile device, which explains why QWERTY input is the first thing they look for when choosing their devices.
Outside the United States, prepaying for service is a common method, often due to a lack of the required infrastructure and ecosphere to track credit history. At 24 percent, young people in the US are much less likely to prepay than the emerging markets, which all have prepaid rates over 85 percent.
One distinguishing factor of the US versus other countries’ mobile behavior is multiple-SIM card usage. Outside the United States, it is not unusual for people to swap the SIM card in their phone in order to take advantage of different tariffs and lower cost in-network calling from mobile carriers...In terms of the motivation behind having more than one SIM, Italian youth claim their primary reason is to take advantage of different tariffs and free text messages. In China, young multiple-SIM users are most likely to do so because of the ability to have different numbers for different people. Some device manufacturers are taking advantage of this trend by creating devices that make it easy for consumers to insert multiple SIMs into the same phone at the same time.
Ninety-four percent of teen subscribers self-identify as advanced data users, turning to their cell phones for messaging, internet, multimedia, gaming and other activities like downloads...Teens are not only using more data, but they are also downloading a wider range of applications. Software downloads among teen subscribers who use apps enjoyed a solid 12 percent increase in activity versus last year, from 26 to 38 percent. This includes popular apps such as Facebook, Pandora and YouTube. Usage of the mobile web has also surpassed activity on pre-installed games, ringtone downloads and instant messaging, too. Other mobile activities like mail and text alerts have also seen significant growth.