Study shows generational differences in mobile device usage
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Study shows generational differences in mobile device usage

Affinity's American Magazine Study ( reports that there are distinct generational skews in the profiles of eReader, tablet computer and smartphone owners.  

For established technology products like computers, U.S. penetration is high and usage is considered mainstream. For example, 84% of American adults currently own at least one computer according to AMS.  

As a result, there's very little difference in the ownership patterns of computers by generation. But when it comes to the growing number of mobile devices in the marketplace, there are new owner profiles emerging that suggest that one generation of Americans may be better prospects for a particular device than others.  

Mirroring the most recent statistics from The Pew Research Center, AMS reports that 12% of U.S. adults currently own an eReader. The profile of eReader owners skews female (54%) versus male (46%). AMS also reports that 19% of American adults plan to purchase an eReader within the next six months. But who are the prime prospects for these devices?

Among the different generational groups, the 58.6 million Boomers lead the way in the adoption of the eReader platform. In fact, Boomers are 19% more likely to own an eReader than the average consumer. More than 8.2 million Boomers currently own an eReader, while more than 10 million plan to purchase the device in the next six months.

More than 9 out of 10 Boomers (92%) use the device at home, 13% at work, and 36% power up their eReaders while on the go. Similar to the national trend, female Boomers are 11% more likely to own an eReader than their male counterparts.

Again in sync with the most recent Pew estimates, AMS reports that 8% of consumers currently own a tablet computer, while an impressive 22% plan to purchase the device.  The reverse of the eReader owner profile, buyers of tablet computers skew male -- 52% versus 48% female.

According to AMS, the 85.4 million Gen-Xers are the most likely buyers of tablet computers. Gen-Xers are 16% more likely to own a tablet than the average adult consumer.

More than 9% of Gen-Xers currently own a tablet, while 24% -- or almost 21 million -- have plans to purchase the device. Fifty-six percent of Gen-X tablet owners actively share their devices with others. Gen-Xers with a household income of $100,000 or more are 63% more likely to own a tablet than their generational peers.

AMS reports that 42% of American adults own a smartphone, while 15% -- or more than 34 million consumers -- plan to purchase one in the next six months. By gender, more men currently own these devices than women (54% versus 46%).

The most likely generation to own these types of mobile devices is the 46.5 million Millennials. In fact, Millennials are 28% more likely to own a smartphone than the average American adult.

Fifty-four percent -- or more than 25 million Millennials -- currently own a smartphone, and 18% plan to purchase one within the next six months. Sixty-three percent of Millennials use their smartphones at work, while 95% report that they are the sole users of the device. Millennials who have graduated college are 23% more likely to own a smartphone than others in their generation.

AMS employs a contemporary, Web-based methodology to survey more than 60,000 consumers annually.  AMS is a source for total magazine brand readership across print and digital channels, including magazine websites, social networks, electronic subscriptions and the growing number of apps designed for smartphones, eReaders, tablets and other mobile devices.


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