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Generational Differences in Mobile Device Usage

Affinity’s American Magazine Study (AMS) reports that there are distinct generational skews in the profiles of eReader, tablet PC and smartphone owners. These findings are important for companies marketing mobile devices to Millennials, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers, as well as those creating content and advertising targeted at these unique generational segments. There are new owner profiles emerging that suggest that one generation of Americans may be better prospects for a particular device than others.

Boomers are the most likely buyers of eReaders

Mirroring the most recent statistics from The Pew Research Center, AMS reports that 12% of U.S. adults currently own an eReader. The profile of eReader owners skews female (54%) versus male (46%). AMS also reports that 19% of American adults plan to purchase an eReader within the next six months. But who are the prime prospects for these devices?


Among the different generational groups, the 58.6 million Boomers lead the way in the adoption of the eReader platform. In fact, Boomers are 19% more likely to own an eReader than the average consumer.



Gen-Xers are the most likely buyers of Tablet PCs


Again in sync with the most recent Pew estimates, AMS reports that 8% of consumers currently own a tablet PC, while an impressive 22% plan to purchase the device. The reverse of the eReader owner profile, buyers of tablet PCs skew male -- 52% versus 48% female.


According to AMS, the 85.4 million Gen-Xers are the most likely buyers of tablet PCs. Gen-Xers are 16% more likely to own a tablet than the average adult consumer.



Millennials are the most likely buyers of Smartphones


AMS reports that 42% of American adults own a smartphone, while 15% -- or more than 34 million consumers -- plan to purchase one in the next six months. More men currently own these devices than women (54% versus 46%).


The most likely generation to own these types of mobile devices is the 46.5 million Millennials. In fact, Millennials are 28% more likely to own a smartphone than the average American adult.


For established technology products like computers, U.S. penetration is high and usage is considered mainstream (84% of American adults currently own at least one computer according to AMS). As a result, there is very little difference in the ownership patterns of computers by generation.