We already knew that teens out-text the rest of us, but this year their mobile data consumption accelerated at an unprecedented rate as well.
Teens ages 13 to 17 used 256% more mobile data in the third quarter of 2011 than in the same time period of 2010. Teens took in 320 MB of data per month on average, with males using 382 MB and females using 266 MB. Adults between 25 and 34 still use the most mobile data, averaging 578 MB each month. The chart below shows a complete breakdown of mobile data usage by age.
For this study, Nielson analyzed recent mobile data from more than 65,000 U.S. subscribers. The study finds that the number of smartphone owners using mobile Internet has increased 45% this year, accounting for the widespread increase of mobile data usage.
When it comes to texting, teens’ famously beloved mobile activity, they send seven texts per waking hour on average, or 3,417 messages per month. In Q3 of 2010 that number was higher, averaging 3,729 per month. Teen girls reign as texting queens, sending 3,952 messages per month. Teen boys, in comparison, send 2,815 texts per month.
Voice minute usage is on the decline, especially for teens. The group used 17% less voice minutes this year (down from 685 minutes to 572 minutes), preferring texting for its speed, ease and fun.