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Report: Youth Are Key To Mobile Growth

A new study delves into how young people are shaping mobile technology markets, and you won't believe how much cash today's 10-year-olds are expected to spend on mobile services.
The average 10-year-old will spend almost $30,000 on mobile services in a lifetime and the youth market is shaping mobile technology markets, according to an annual study recently released by Wireless World Forum.

The 2006 Mobile Youth report argues that the relationship between young people and mobile technology is critical but often overlooked. Young consumers are driving innovations like text messaging, mobile music and mobile radio, according to the study, which states that new data services are the most important factor in reversing long-term declines in mature mobile markets like North America and Northeast Asia.

Youth spending on mobile services passed the $100 billion mark in 2006, according to the report.

Though young people tend to spend less than high-income earners and early adopters, they represent high value segments in their lifetimes, according to Wireless World Forum. Unrelated industries must accommodate the growth of mobile into existing product development and marketing or risk losing out on $10 billion annual growth in mobile spending. Companies can capture youth by enhancing the social utility value of mobile phones, according to the report.

By the time today's 10-year-old turns 35, the consumer will have spent more than half of the $30,000 worth of mobile services purchased in a lifetime, according to the study, which labels the 25-year period "the window of mobile opportunity."

Youth spending on data services represents almost 50 percent of all mobile spending in most mature markets, according to Wireless World Forum.

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