Part of that changing up how I approach things. Whenever I need to comment on something, if it can’t be said in short, then I will write it (probably here). ReadWrite Mobile is quoting a story that Generation Y folks (24-32 year olds) are the most savy when it comes to mobile. I call bullocks, and not because I deal with more people than I shuold. Its just a simple numbers game, and the report RW Mobile quotes simple fails.
You can’t say that something is invlaid unless you ponit to what’s wrong. Well, here’s my first knock on things: how do you define savy.
RW Mobile points to the research and says that savvy-ness is described by what folks do with the mobiles. And in this case, what you do is determined by use of SMS (text messaging, no mention if MMS is included), a greater percentage of internet use on the mobile (news, social networking, and email), and finally percentage within the demographic which owns a smartphone. Are you serious?
Those of follow communications, mobile, and tech use across demographics aren’t blind to the fact that SMS usage is high. Its literally the most used service on mobile devices worldwide. We can’ just count the number of users, we need something deeper, like what are they doing SMS. The story with SMS in 2012 was mobile giving, is Gen Y exercising this more than others? Are they sending more picture messages (MMS)? Are they doing banking and other transactions more? Or, are they showing a use of the tech (teaching a second language perhaps) that other demogrpahic groups aren’t doing to the same level?
I pitch the same level of questions to this idea of deeper/better use of Internet. Wow, they access the web on a mobile device more. Ok. So what. Part of that is indeed generational – there’s just not a need for much access of the web to need to happen on a larger screen. Or, whatever is being looked at, most have figured that mobile is “big enough.” So what makes Gen Y more savvy here? Accessing news is nothing, are they making it? Oooh, they use social networking apps and websites. So what? Are they not just creating connections in these networks, but doing something so different in redefining what the Internet is in terms of social media? RW Mobile, where’s the analysis of what exactly is savvy?
And then the part that incensed me enough to write it here versus on the article – owning more smartphones means you are more savy. No painting of the picture of carriers that sell more smartphones at prices they only used to sell non-smartphones. No painting of exactly what makes a smartphone user more savvy than a non-smartphone one. Are they building and deploying apps and services? Are they using tech like NFC, AR, or something else in a way others aren’t doing as much? Are they personalizaing these devices in deeper ways (or less secure ways) than other groups? Or, at the very least, when you point to the companies’ devices that are owned across demographic areas, do we also see the price distribution (the real price, not that subsidized one) of what devices are being purchased and by why Gen Y groups?
Look Forrester (it was their report), I don’t care how repuatable you are. I do care how information is interpreted. I think that fuller explainations are needed. Yes, those high level graphics are fun. And those catchy titles that journalists and bloggers latch onto are misleading, and usually just flat out wrong.
A better word than savvy would be variety. A better approach would be explaining exactly what that variety looks like inside of contexts that speak not only to the use, but the idealized or marketed use of this tech. Then we can get into a discussion of what this means. Then the discussion makes the most sense.