Recent data released by Ofcom in their annual Communication Marketing report has suggested that mobile games are not going anywhere as their popularity increased by 23% overall from the previous year. An astonishing 50% of all teenagers using smartphones play games from their mobile phone while only 20% of adults use the ever popular Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja games to entertain themselves on a regular basis.
Gaming, however, was not the most popular activity for teenagers. That honour was essentially a tie between social networking and listening to music, both at a little over 60% usage. Email won the day for adults, with almost 50% of those surveyed saying they used it frequently, followed closely by internet surfing at a little over 40%.
Interestingly, the same study revealed that while the Apple iPhone was the most popular brand overall, teenagers associated their loyalties more with BlackBerry, a platform that has long been associated with the business world. Perhaps the much touted texting capabilities strike a chord with the younger crowd, with the BlackBerry platform offering both the astonishingly well-constructed QWERTY keyboard alongside the price saving BlackBerry Messaging System, particularly for teens on pay as you go contracts. Speaking of price saving, it may be another reason that teenagers feel a stronger connection to Blackberry as RIM offers numerous mobile smartphones falling in a much lower price range than the iPhone.
This bucks the worldwide trend of Android being the most popular smartphone platform, especially in America, where it recently announced a 50% share of the smartphone market.
In conjunction with the gaming numbers, there are an alarming number of smartphone users who consider themselves ‘addicted’ to their mobiles. A staggering 37% of adults say that they can’t make it without their phones while 60% of teenagers consider themselves obsessed. This would certainly explain the more than 43 million man hours spent on mobile Facebook in December of 2010. Worldwide, Facebook has a little over 750 million users and they claim that some 250 million of those are regularly accessing the social network via their mobile phones.
The mobile activities that were revealed to be used the least were watching TV programs and films for adults and maps/GPS devices for teenagers, both only used between 5-10% by their respective demographics.