Today's teens were introduced to technology as toddlers and rely on consumer electronic products like computers, cell phones and MP3 players that make their lives easier, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Teens say technology helps them keep in touch with friends and family, although three-quarters of teens said they do not spend less time with people because of technology.
CEA research shows the average teen expects to spend around US$312 on consumer electronic (CE) devices in the next six months. Teens are well versed in a number of CE products and spend approximately four hours per school day devoted to technology related activities. Personal ownership of CE devices among teens is, as expected, low because they live at home where many electronics belong to parents. Exceptions include lower cost products such as headphones/earbuds, cell phones and MP3 players, of which teens claim sole ownership.
When asked how they spend their day, nearly half of teen's activities were driven by technology. Four of their five top activities were technology driven, with listening to music as the most popular activity among teens. Purchasing (58%), borrowing (56%), or receiving a CD (52%) as a gift are still the primary sources teens get music, with online stores (51%) being a secondary source. Purchasing music through online stores has increase 10% since 2006 and teens are accessing music through online sources like YouTube (47%). As teens increase their online time, CEA says there is expected growth in online consumption of music.
A quarter of teens expect to purchase a new cell phone within the next six months, making it teens' most popular consumer electronic product. When asked to choose only one technology to use for an entire day, teens chose cell phones most often. Not just used for talking, 70% of teens use their cell phones for texting. Teens also use their phones to access mobile entertainment, shoot videos, listen to music, and watch videos. More than one-third of a teens' cell phone activities are spent accessing and creating content. Based on teen's current cell phone usage and interest in more advanced features, CEA says that growth can be expected in teen ownership of smartphones.
Looking specifically at what CE products teens want, an upgraded cell phone (a smartphone) and an MP3 player were at the top on their list. Additionally, higher ticket consumer electronic products like computers/laptops, video gaming systems, and digital cameras would make popular gifts for the holiday season.
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