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Teen Electronics Market Overlooked

Yankee Group Reveals Major Disconnect Between Consumer Electronics Manufacturers and the Teen Market; Online Experiences and Peer Acceptance Influence Teen Adoption Trends Over Price and Availability of Services

Yankee Group today revealed a big discrepancy between the market for products directed at teens and the growth in popularity of social networking among teens. This makes consumer electronics marketed to teens a difficult proposition–especially if the class of devices is not already popular among a teen’s friends. For teens, their online experiences are more important than the electronics or devices they use to access the internet.

According to the recently published Yankee Group Report, Corporations Just Don’t Understand: Why Some Products Fail While Social Networks Thrive for Teens, teens’ interest in highly popular online social networks such as MySpace does not necessarily translate into their propensity to purchase highly connected consumer devices aimed at the teen market. According to the Yankee Group Anywhere Consumer: 2007 US Teens and Technology Survey, although teens are interested in mobility and access to the web when away from their home computer, today’s teens are still not choosing mobile/wireless access as their first choice to access the internet.

“Although teens show a strong potential to be Anywhere Consumers, their need for social acceptance trumps their desire for connectivity and thus makes them device reluctant leaders,” said Jennifer Simpson, senior analyst in Yankee Group’s Consumer Research group. “In today’s global connectivity revolution, companies targeting teens must understand the specific needs of the teen Anywhere Consumer™ as well as find approval among the collective thought of teens to garner attention and penetration of this demographic group.”

At its core, teen online behavior shows that online activities are device neutral. A device may be the physical delivery mechanism for online activities, but teens are not as attracted to this class of teen-targeted devices as much as they are by online experiences, which allow them to interact with their friends and share their experiences among their peers. To round out the look at this subject, Simpson’s report further examines teen behaviors online, participation in communities and teen’s interest in creating and consuming user-generated media to help consumer electronic manufacturers successfully target this demographic.

The people of Yankee Group are the global connectivity experts™–the leading source of insight and counsel for builders, operators and users of connectivity solutions. For nearly 40 years, Yankee Group has conducted primary research that charts the pace of technology change and its effect on networks, consumers and enterprises. Headquartered in Boston, Yankee Group has a global presence including operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

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