The Coming Teen Cell Phone Revolution

Windows Vista finally launched to a lukewarm reception, PC prices are at the lowest point they’ve been in years, even laptops are available now for under $600, but I haven’t spoken to a single teenager that’s interested. What are they interested in? Smart Phones, and yes, the newly launched iPhone.

As I’ve reported before, teens are more connected than ever, but not to a PC. This fact hasn’t been lost on marketers. In 2005 advertisers were looking at cell phones as the emerging medium to explore.

A few factors are driving the interest. Increasingly, cell phones are becoming more data oriented and PC-like. Consequently, there is now space that advertiser can use for marketing. “Cell phone screen size is certainly not optimal but it does provide companies with room to advertise their wares,” said David Chamberlain, senior analyst at market research firm In-Stat.

In addition, cell phones are quite popular among a prime advertising Email Marketing Software – Free Demo demographic: youth, including college and high school students. Many college students have abandoned wired connections for wireless ones, and a survey by The American Advertising Federation (AAF) found that 69 percent of high school teens own cell phones. The youth market tends to be quite interested in products with short life cycles, such as music and movies. These products generate a lot of advertising because companies need to quickly create a buzz as new products arrive.

As phones became more like PCs, teens and college students began to abandon the PC for the portability of the cell phone. One key component that was missing from the mix was storage space. Cell phones just didn’t have the space to allow for music and video storage.

Seagate just changed that with the introduction of 10-20 Gig wireless storage devices.

Simply streaming content isn’t working for consumers or businesses, Pait said, so providing lots of space to hold downloaded media is the way forward. Splitting storage from the handset guarantees plenty of space and phones that stay small and stay cheap.

While resistant to advertising, especially on cell phones, the teenagers I’ve spoken to admitted that if monthly rates were reduced or more minutes added to their plans, they’d be willing to use an ad-supported cell plan. Screen size? For a generation that grew up with the Gameboy, the small screens on cell phones aren’t an issue.

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