IDC Finds Young Adult Males More Likely than Females to Purchase Mobile Phones as Fashion Statements

FRAMINGHAM, MA – January 11, 2005 – A recently completed IDC study confirms that mobile users perceive they derive one of the following sets of benefits from using mobile phones – safety and security, productivity and convenience, or style and status. Thus, while some people relish the increased productivity and convenience of having a mobile phone, others are merely satisfied with their heightened sense of safety and security when carrying these devices. Fortunately for mobile phone vendors and wireless service providers offering emerging value-added feature sets and services, a full constituency of mobile users thrive on the style and status associated with owning the latest full-featured phones.

The study also reveals a number of other corollaries about mobile phone users' perceptions about their phones, such as:

— Overall, productivity and convenience benefits are paramount to more users compared to other fundamental benefits, such as safety and security or style and status.

— The imperatives of style- and status-conscious mobile phone users are more numerous than other types of users — overall, style and status seekers want the latest devices with new features and services.

— Safety and security seekers are minimalists — that is, they are more typically price-conscious users who prefer easy-to-use phones with few enhancements.

— Males, more than females, rate style and status as important mobile phone benefits while females regard safety and security as more valuable.

"To capitalize on market voids, mobile phone vendors and wireless service providers must sustain technological innovations and creative marketing programs," says Dana Thorat, senior research analyst in IDC's Mobile User program. "However, in doing so, marketers must attempt to gain a better understanding of what makes mobile users tick – that is, identifying and satisfying ever-changing user demands in order to serve increasingly diverse and fragmented markets shaped by differing values, beliefs, needs, wants, and expectations."

IDC's recently released study, What Makes Mobile Users Tick? The Underlying Factors of Mobile Phone Usage and Purchase Criteria (IDC #32439), examines the fundamental reasons people use their mobile phones. The data source used for this study is from IDC's Mobile Usage Patterns 2004 survey conducted in September 2004 among 1,795 members of IDC's Mobile Advisory Council. This council is part of IDC's International Technology Advisory Council, a global community of more than 28,000 buyers and users of mobile device (mobile phones, smart handheld devices, and notebook PCs), consumer electronics, and personal computing products and services around the world.

To purchase this document, call IDC's sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

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