Smartphone Usage Highlights: Gen X & Gen Y


As part of our research services we continually monitor consumer media usage behaviors and technology utilization. We recently published a report titled “Smartphone Usage Report” based on results from a recent mobile usage survey (see below for more details). The survey explored device preferences, usage trends, and experiences for the following areas:

  1. Mobile apps categories
  2. Location-based social media
  3. Ratings and reviews services
  4. Shopping
  5. Maps & Directions

We also asked a series of questions on wearable technology. Full results can be obtained in the report, however some key highlights for Gen X and Gen Y are as follows:


  • They are addicted to social media & gaming apps- When ranking app category usage, the top categories for Gen X &Y  were social media and gaming apps with 80%-90% using them at least weekly. Top categories for older generations were weather, news and maps/direction apps with 50%-60% using them at least weekly.


  • They use their smartphone for local search- When asked what device (smartphone, tablet or pc) they prefer to use when searching for local information over 50% use their smartphone and they tend to be on the go. Older generations prefer to use a pc are at home when searching for local information.


  • They “check-in” often- When asked if they have “checked-in”  to a place or shared their location with others through their smartphone over 60% have with roughly 40% doing it weekly. Over half do it to provide a social update or let friends know where they are. Nearly 80% stated they would definitely “check-in” if the business would give them some type of reward or coupon.


  • Their smartphone  helps them decide what to purchase-  Over 60% use their smartphones while shopping often or every time to look for coupons, and compare prices. Over 70% use social media apps to compare prices to decide if they want to purchase a product or service. They feel using their phone while shopping helps them be smarter shoppers and decide whether to buy… top apps used include Search Engines, Amazon and Facebook or Twitter. Over 60% have decided not to buy something based on better prices or product reviews discovered online.


In short, Gen X and Gen Y dominate smartphone usage. This should come as no surprise. However, the key is understanding how, why and where they use their phones so as a marketer you can provide more relevant content to this segment of the population.



[important]The report is available to Thrive Analytic’s clients, and is also available for purchase ($299 for the report). More information about the report and how to purchase it is available HERE[/important]




Survey Details

We recently published the Smartphone Usage Report based on results from a mobile usage survey .This survey was conducted through our Connected Experience Panel™ that reaches over 11 million people in 50 countries and 40,000 small to medium sized businesses in the United States. There were 1,102 smartphone owners that completed the survey.



Jason Peaslee

Jason Peaslee is the Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics, a marketing research and analytics consulting firm. His career spans more than 20 years in marketing, advertising, product development, research, and business management. Before founding Thrive Analytics in 2010, he held several senior leadership roles at AT&T, Reynolds & Reynolds, Berry Network, & The Berry Company.

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