updated 02:45 pm EDT, Thu October 14, 2010
Nielsen shows upsurge in teen mobile Internet use
Teens with cellphones are using them for mobile data much more than in the past, Nielsen determined in a new study. Although messaging is still the favorite, about 49 percent of those aged 13 to 17 were using their phones for full Internet access in the spring, not just MMS or SMS. The number was up from 40 percent a year earlier and was mirrored by apps and e-mail, which shot up nearly as much to hit 38 percent.
A typical teen male is the most active, using about 75MB of data versus just 17MB last year, but girls also shot up from just 11MB last year to 53MB this past season.
Many were also shifting away from phone calls, the research group said. Voice use on the phone dropped about 14 percent in the past year to an average of 646 minutes every month. About a fifth said it was not only easier to send a text message than make a call but usually faster as well. Text messaging is considered more important than safety than teens as the main reason for getting a cellphone, and the average teen sent or received a steep 3,339 messages each month.
The stats play into the hands of companies like Apple, Google and RIM, all of whom have been pushing data, pure messaging or both as core features. They also help reinforce the reasons for the early death of the Kin, as Microsoft designed the phone to where Verizon required a smartphone-level plan but didn't include any bundled text messaging.