83pc of teens own a smartphone (infographic)

18 Dec 2012

Mobile phone ownership in Ireland is getting younger and most of today’s teenagers (15-18), those in their early 20s (19 to 24) and late 20s (25-29) got their first mobile phones between the ages of 11 and 15. However, in terms of design and marketing, these markets are not being targeted very well in Ireland.

Today’s 30 to 35-year-olds got their first mobile devices between the ages of 16 and 20, according to research by Thinkhouse.

Some 83pc of teenagers today own a smartphone and that number soars to 97pc for those in their late 20s.

The majority (59pc) of smartphone owners own an Apple iPhone followed by Samsung at 16.7pc and BlackBerry at 11.5pc.

It seems nowhere is out of bounds to check their phones – ‘when they wake up’ (88pc); ‘on public transport’ (87pc); ‘while watching TV’ (83pc); ‘on the loo’ (45pc); ‘at the cinema’ (20pc) and ‘on a date’ (16.9pc).

Under-developed marketing and mobile web design focus

The report’s authors say that while the levels of phone use are not surprising, what is surprising is how under-developed the market for targeting these age profiles in their natural habitats is.

“While talked about in techie and web-design circles for a long time, the uptake on these technologies for websites is extremely low in Ireland. 

“Where once every website had to be built twice – once for desktop and once for mobile; progressive enhancement, responsive design and media queries combat the demands of the ever-changing landscape of mobile devices and browser sizes.

“What is evident, though, is that the youth audience in Ireland are on their smartphones more and more; over 50pc of all searches are carried out on mobile devices and once they find the website they want it has to be easy to navigate or the chance to connect has been lost and they’ll instantly shut down,” the report’s authors warn.

mob youth

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years