US Teens: How Smartphones Fit into (and Disrupt) Their Daily Lives - eMarketer
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US Teens: How Smartphones Fit into (and Disrupt) Their Daily Lives

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: June 29, 2016

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

A large majority of US teens have a smartphone, and they tend to use it heavily—even to the point of feeling addicted. It’s their entertainment hub and primary digital tool for social interaction.

  • After lagging earlier in the smartphone era, teens’ ownership of the device has surged. Penetration will approach 75% this year. Still, that’s well short of the figure for young adults.
  • The constant connectedness that smartphones enable can be a burden for teens, even if a burden many of them eagerly carry. Their texting can amount to a clinically compulsive behavior.
  • Even more than adults, teens have made social networking a primarily mobile pastime. This is reflected in their outsized presence on smartphone-centric networks like Instagram and Snapchat—a pattern that also underscores the importance for teens of smartphone cameras.
  • Small screen notwithstanding, the smartphone gets plenty of use by teens for watching video, on YouTube and elsewhere. It often powers their usage of music and video games.
  • Teens use smartphones to research possible purchases and to seek bargains. Evidence is mixed about their receptivity to marketing content sent via their phones.

"The social network that often matters most to teens is the circle of friends with whom they text."

Table of Contents

Not-So-Early Adopters

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How Many, How Much

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The Smartphone as Key to Teen Social Interaction

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The Smartphone as All-Purpose Entertainment Device

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Teens as Mobile Shoppers

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Conclusions

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Related eMarketer Report

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19 charts are included in the full report:

US Teens: How Smartphones Fit into (and Disrupt) Their Daily Lives

Primary Method of Communicating with Friends According to US Internet Users, by Age, Feb 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

How Many, How Much

US Smartphone User Penetration, by Age, 2014-2020 (% of mobile phone users in each group)

Devices Owned by US Internet Users, by Age, Feb 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Activities Conducted Simultaneously While Watching TV According to US Internet Users, by Generation, Nov 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

Daypart During Which US Internet Users First Check Their Messages*, by Age, Feb 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Attitudes Toward Their Mobile Usage According to US Teen Mobile Phone Users, March 2016 (% of respondents)

The Smartphone as Key to Teen Social Interaction

US Teen Social Network User Penetration, by Platform, 2014-2020 (% of teen social network users)

Preferred Social Media Site Among US Teens, Fall 2012-Spring 2016 (% of respondents)

Social Media Sites/Apps Used Daily by US Teen vs. Millennial Internet Users, April 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Primary Method of Communicating with Friends According to US Internet Users, by Age, Feb 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

The Smartphone as All-Purpose Entertainment Device

Devices/Locations Where US Teen Internet Users Watch TV Shows vs. Movies, Nov 2015 (% of respondents)

Share of Time Spent Watching TV Shows vs. Movies Among US Internet Users, by Generation and Device, Nov 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

Leading Platforms on Which US Teen/Young Adult Internet Users Watch Digital Video, by Age, Fall 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

US Sports Fans Who View Mobile Sports Content, by Demographic, Feb 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

US Teen Mobile Phone/Tablet Owners Who Play Games on Their Device, Spring 2013-Fall 2015 (% of respondents)

Teens as Mobile Shoppers

Preferred Method of Browsing Products According to US Teen Digital Shoppers, Sep 2015 (% of respondents)

Sources that Influence Purchasing Decisions of US Internet Users, by Generation, Nov 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

US Teen/Adult Internet Users Who Use Ad Blockers on Their Devices, by Demographic, Aug 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

Shopping-Related Smartphone Activities Conducted by US Teen Smartphone Users, Nov 2015 (% of respondents)