Generation Y Chooses Mobile: Web Accessed Mostly On Mobile Phones

According to results from a staggering 300,000-person survey by Opera, most 18-27 year-old Opera Mini users use their mobile phones to browse the Web more often than they use a desktop or laptop computer for the same purpose. In Nigeria, South Africa, and Indonesia, over 90 percent (%) of so-called Generation Y users said they use their mobile phones more than desktop or laptop computers to access the Internet.

Interestingly, the countries with the highest percentage of respondents using desktop or laptop computers as the primary means of Internet access were countries where smartphones are among the top handsets used.

In Nigeria, South Africa, and Indonesia, more than 9 out of 10 respondents said they browse the Web on their handsets more than they browse on a laptop or desktop computer. Looking at the top handsets used by Opera Mini users in those countries, it was noticed fewer smartphones (compared to the Poland, Germany, the United States, and Brazil). This result presents a challenge to the long-standing belief that smartphone uptake will be the major driver of mobile web usage globally.

The Mobile Web and Generation Y

This report highlights the previously unpublished data surrounding mobile and Internet lifestyle choices and attitudes among Opera Mini users in various countries around the world. Specifically, Opera focused on results from users in the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Brazil, Germany, and Poland. These countries represent major and/or emerging markets in terms of Opera Mini usage.

Researchers were particularly fascinated by the mobile/Internet lifestyle choices and attitudes shared by users between the ages of 18-27, which happens to be the largest group of Opera Mini users.

Some highlights:

  • Almost 90% of respondents in the United States aged 18-27 have used their phones to share pictures. Of the profiled countries, Vietnam–at 67%–had the lowest use of mobile phones to share pictures.
  • Respondents in the United States are least likely to have asked someone out on a date via SMS (44%). Respondents in China (84%), Germany (84%) and Vietnam (83%) are most likely to have used SMS texts to ask someone out on a date.
  • Generation Y in both China and the United States share a disdain for printed newspapers. 53% of respondents in the United States and 57% of respondents in China rarely or never read physical newspapers.
  • Watch your privacy policies. Respondents in South Africa (49%) and the United States (44%) were somewhat to very uncomfortable sharing their personal information online.

“We have often said that the next generation will grow up knowing the Web mostly through their mobile phones,” said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera. “We see this trend already emerging in different regions around the world. The mobile Web will bring a profound change in how we connect with one another. I think the results from this survey already show that change taking place.”

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Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.

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