Ericsson ConsumerLab research reveals teenagers' communication

January 5, 2012, 20:00 (CET) Download:

  • A teenage relationship begins with a changed Facebook status 

  • Texting on the phone is great, but nothing beats meeting face-to-face  

  • Same needs but different social tools 

How do teenagers prefer to communicate and socialize with each other? At Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), we think their behavior has important implications for the future of devices and technology.

Between June and November 2011, Ericsson ConsumerLab carried out research into what those implications will be.

"Behaviors are dynamic, and shift as people enter different life stages. As they get older, teenagers start to use communication tools in the same way as adults. They will continue to use 'their' tools such as texting, Facebook and video chat, but at the same time, they understand the need to use voice and e-mail as they move into the next stage of their lives," said Ann-Charlotte Kornblad, Senior advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab.

The survey shows that the common usage of texting and Facebook has changed the dynamics of teenage dating. The biggest changes can be seen in the courting process, where the goal is to ask the other person out on a date. However teenagers still meet potential romantic partners face-to-face.

Another clear shift is the fact that changing your Facebook relationship status to "in a relationship" or "single" is now seen by friends as the official declaration.

Texting remains the teenager's tool of choice when face time isn't an option.  It is a tool that does not interrupt the flow of their lives. Voice calls, on the other hand, are considered by teenagers to be more suitable for adults.

The report finds that the ownership level for smartphones and regular mobile phones are the same for 17-year-olds, but 13-year-olds are much more interested in getting a smartphone, if they don't already have one.

The study consisted of almost 2,000 respondents and involved a representative sample of 20 million people between 13 and 17 years of age, representative of the entire US. The behavior reported is similar to that in many other countries. The study also consisted of 44 qualitative interviews.

Notes to editors:

Press release: Ericsson at the 2012 International CES

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About Ericsson ConsumerLab

Ericsson ConsumerLab is a knowledge-based organization that provides consumer insight to influence strategy, marketing and product management within the Ericsson Group. Ericsson ConsumerLab has more than 15 years' experience in consumer research, which involves studying people's values and behaviors, including the way they act and think about ICT products and services. This knowledge helps operators develop attractive revenue-generating services.

Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the "prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 90,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 203.3 billion (USD 28.2 billion) in 2010. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.

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