Teenagers and Their Smartphones in 2011

The newest mobile phone numbers are in from Nielsen in their new State of the Media Mobile Media Report for the third quarter of 2011. The results probably won’t be surprising to anyone who hangs out with teenagers. In short, more teens are getting smartphones, they’re downloading more data, texting a lot, and talking less.

Smartphones still aren’t the majority for teenagers. Only 40% of 13-17 year-olds now own a smart phone, compared to 53% of 18-24 year-olds and 64% of 25-34 year-olds. But the numbers have grown at an insane rate compared to years past. This table provides a good breakdown.

I notice several things from this table:

  • Slightly more females now own smartphones where it used to be 10% more males in 2009.
  • Every age category has more than doubled in the last 2 years.
  • 25-34 and 18-24 still dominate in smartphone ownership

According to the same Mobile Media Report, the top two sites accessed by smartphones are Google (#1) and Facebook (#2).

Nielson used data from the monthly cell phone bills of 65,000+ mobile subscribers and analyzed mobile usage trends among teenagers in the U.S.

  • Teens age 13-17 now use an average of 320 MB of data per month (a 256% increase over last year’s 90MB average). (Males used 382 MB, females used 286 MB.
  • Average number of messages (SMS and MMS) exchanged monthly by a teenager is now 3,417 per month. (3,952 by females, 2,815 by males)
  • Voice time (phone calls) has gone down from an average of 685 minutes to 572 minutes.


About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
[Are you getting this daily blog in your email inbox?] If not, it's real easy-go here.
This entry was posted in Entertainment Media, Youth Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Teenagers and Their Smartphones in 2011

  1. Pingback: Teenager and Their Smartphones in 2011 «

  2. Jeremy says:

    Would it skew the stats to know that cell companies don’t provide many non-smartphone devices in 2011 as they did in 2009? I hear of many friends (and older people) who want just a regular phone that calls instead of all the data stuff, but there are not many like that available anymore.

  3. Pingback: (More) Trouble With Texting « Mainframe Youth Ministries