Work and Life in the Mobile Society/Work/Demographics

The demographics of mobility: are there generation and gender gaps?

“Laptops, cell phones, iPods and other devices have put work, socialization and entertainment on the move. In essence, our work and personal lives are increasingly characterized by mobility and intertwined with the technologies that enable it.” With this recent ‘information era’ comes a significant amount of studies that have been conducted around the world to better understand the gender and generation gaps when concerned with the wireless world. Upon further examination, a number of distinct gender and generation patterns came forth which persuades one to buy and make use of a particular mobile technology.

With staggering facts such as “By the year of 2009, mobile phones annual sales will reach one billion, and 40% of the world’s population will be mobile phone users” it is incredibly important for a technology company to understand key shopping tendencies, interests and attitudes of their target market when developing and selling a new communications device.

Age Differences


In a recent survey, it was clear that young people have different experiences with their mobile devices than do older people. For example, 33% of young Americans post photos to websites via mobile phones and use today’s ‘information era’ as a way to make new friends and experience more social interactions whereas less than 21% of older Americans engage in such wireless experiences. “Particularly for young people, texting on mobile devices has become as natural as putting on jeans in the morning.” The use of and interest in different mobile functions (internet/webcam/cell phone/text messaging etc…) are directly associated with the age of the user. Studies are showing that young users are comfortable with the more simplistic features of a device (narrower scope of functions) whereas aged adults (particularly males) are reported to be quite interested in the modern technology and more complex options (contacts/blue tooth/scheduling meetings etc…)

Gender Differences


In addition to age making a difference in the decisions made and usage in a mobile society, gender also plays a big role. “Adolescent females as well as adult women are more active in sending SMS messages while the males are emitting and receiving more audio calls.” Psychologically, it’s been said that “men seem to be faster technology adopters and have more incentive to try different new features provided. This might be due to a difference in attitudes of men and women towards new technology. Women tend to view technology as a tool, whereas men view it as entertainment.”



For these reasons, it is imperative for a marketing campaign to advertise the perfect product to the right buyer. Understanding the data that’s been collected and analyzed, the old, the young, the men and the women have very different needs and desires for their mobile devices. Utilizing this information, technology-led markets can implement a strong, well-defined and viable marketing strategy for today’s consumer. Keeping in mind that mobile studies will have to be on a continuous basis as there are “more than 177 million users of mobile phones, 205 million PC users and 211 million internet users in the USA alone” and from classrooms to workplaces, future uses of mobile will play out in ways none of us would ever image!