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Survey says: most teens don't have a data plan, almost all send texts

Nilay Patel
May 5, 2010
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Microsoft and Verizon might think all the kids want to do with their new Kin phones is pay absurd data rates for a half-baked Twitter experience, but it turns out Generation Upload is still actually just Generation Text Message. That's at least the word according to a Pew Internet Research survey published on April 20th and neatly summed up by a new Flowlogic infographic published today -- only 23 percent of American teenagers with cellphones use social networks with their phones, while 72 percent of all teens use text messaging. You might argue that Kin seeks to flip that balance, but Pew found that 63 percent of teens with cell phones don't have data plans and the vast majority of teen cellphone plans are part of a larger family plan, so the Kin's $30 / month data rate might be a hard sell to Mom and Dad.

We also thought voice calling on the Kin seemed like an afterthought to texting and social networking, but it turns out more and more older kids simply turn to the phone: 77 percent of 17 year olds text each other, but 60 percent of them call each other's cell phones -- and only 33 percent of them connect over social networking sites. Perhaps most damningly, Pew says nearly half -- 46% -- of teens play games on their phones, but Kin has no games at all. The report is actually full of other interesting tidbits like this and the infographic is quite nice, so hit the read links to check 'em out -- perhaps Microsoft and Verizon should do the same.



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