Research

2012 RJI Mobile Media News: Who uses mobile media devices?

Results of all previous RJI tablet surveys can be found on the RJI website at: http://www.rjionline.org/news/rji-dpa-tablet-research-project. For more information, contact Roger Fidler at fidlerr@rjionline.org.

According to Reynolds Journalism Institute findings, two-thirds of U.S. adults used at least one mobile media device in their daily lives during the first quarter of 2012. Smartphones and large media tablets are now the preferred mobile media devices. In the two years since Apple defined the large media tablet market with its iPad, nearly a third of all adult mobile device owners in the U.S. said they are using one. For news organizations and advertisers, users of these devices, especially those who own large media tablets, have appealing demographic profiles. They tend to be relatively affluent, well-educated and avid news consumers.

DEVICE CATEGORIES: Nearly 70 percent of mobile media device owners routinely used two or more mobile media devices. Sixty percent of all smartphone owners used at least one other mobile media device. More than half (51%) of all large media tablet owners also used an Apple iPhone. Among smartphone owners who used one or more additional mobile media devices, 44% owned an Apple iPhone, 37% owned a variety of Android-powered smartphone brands, 14% owned a Blackberry, and about 5% owned some other brand. The following table summarizes responses in each device category.

Device Category
Percent of All Respondents
Percent of All Mobile Device Owners
Most Popular Brands in Each Device Category
Percent of Brand Within Device Category
Smart Phones
57%
87%
Apple iPhone
39%
Large Media Tablets
21%
32%
Apple iPad
88%
Small Media Tablets
8%
12%
Amazon Kindle Fire
68%
E-Readers
13%
19%
Amazon Kindle
73%
Other Mobile Devices
21%
31%
Apple*
43%
*The other Apple mobile devices included the Apple iPod Touch (80%), Apple iPod (7%) and the unspecified Apple devices (11%)

The following table summarizes the percentage of all mobile device owners who used other devices in each device category (read from left to right).

Device Category
Smartphone
Large Media Tablet
Small Media Tablet
E-Reader
Other Mobile Device
Smart Phones
100%
33%
10%
17%
27%
Large Media Tablets
89%
100%
11%
22%
35%
Small Media Tablets
71%
30%
100%
28%
36%
E-Readers
73%
36%
17%
100%
35%
Other Mobile Devices
74%
21%
35%
14%
100%
*The other Apple mobile devices included the Apple iPod Touch (80%), Apple iPod (7%) and the unspecified Apple devices (11%)

GENDER: Men are still somewhat more likely than women to use mobile media devices, but the gap appears to be closing. In this survey, men accounted for just over half of all device users. However, gender ratios varied significantly within device categories. Women accounted for more than half of the small media tablet and e-reader users.

Device Category
Smartphone
Large Media Tablet
Small Media Tablet
E-Reader
Other Mobile Device
Men
60.3%
63.6%
48.8%
45.4%
54.3%
Women
39.7%
36.4%
51.3%
54.6%
45.7%
All Device Users
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%

AGE GROUPS: Individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 represented the largest percentage of mobile media device users (45%). More than half (51%) of the non-mobile device users were ages 55 or older.

Age Group
Percent Mobile Device Users
Percent Non-Mobile Device Users
Percent All Respondents
Age 18-34
44.9%
18.7%
36.3%
Age 35-54
32.4%
30.2%
31.7%
Age 55 or Older
22.7%
51.1%
32.1%
All Respondents
100%
100%
100%

Individual users between the ages of 35 and 54 tended to own more mobile media devices than users in other age groups. The following table shows the percentage of all mobile media device owners in each age group who used devices in the five main categories.

Age Group
Smartphone
Large Media Tablet
Small Media Tablet
E-Reader
Other Mobile Device
Age 18-34
92.7%
27.9%
8.6%
15.6%
30.9%
Age 35-54
81.1%
39.2%
16.1%
17.5%
33.2%
Age 55 or Older
73.0%
28.3%
12.5%
27.6%
28.3%
All Respondents
84.5%
31.6%
11.9%
19.0%
31.0%

INCOME GROUPS: Mobile media device users tended to have higher incomes than non-users of mobile media devices. Among all respondents who indicated that they had an annual household income of $75,000 or more, 81% were mobile device users.

Income Group
Percent Mobile Device Users
Percent Non-Mobile Device Users
Percent All Respondents
Less Than $75,000/Year
59.4%
40.6%
100%
More Than $75,000/Year
81.3%
18.7%
100%

More than three quarters of the non-users of mobile media devices reported an annual household income of less than $75,000. Among mobile media device users, those with annual household incomes above and below $75,000 were nearly equal.

Income Group
Percent Mobile Device Users
Percent Non-Mobile Device Users
Percent All Respondents
Less Than $75,000/Year
52.8%
76.8%
60.4%
More Than $75,000/Year
47.2%
23.2%
39.6%
All Respondents
100%
100%
100%

The following table compares the income ranges of mobile media owners in the five main categories of mobile devices.

Income Group
Smartphone
Large Media Tablet
Small Media Tablet
E-Reader
Other Mobile Device
Less Than $75,000/Year
52.2%
40.8%
48.0%
51.7%
53.3%
More Than $75,000/Year
47.8%
59.2%
52.0%
48.3%
46.7%
All Respondents
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%

Income differences were significantly more pronounced for different brands within each device category. For example, 50.8% of smartphone users with an annual household income of $75,000 or more owned an Apple iPhone. Conversely, 50.4% of smartphone users with an annual household income of less than $75,000 owned an Android-powered smartphone. The following table compares income ranges between smartphone brands and large media tablet brands.

Income Group
Android Smartphone
Apple iPhone
Blackberry Smartphone
Android Large Media Tablet
Apple iPad
Less Than $75,000/Year
63.9%
38.5%
41.3%
61.5%
39.1%
More Than $75,000/Year
36.1%
61.5%
58.7%
38.5%
60.9%
All Respondents
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%

EDUCATION: Mobile media device users tended to include a significantly higher percentage of individuals with university degrees than non-users of mobile media devices.

Education
Percent Mobile Device Users
Percent Non-Mobile Device Users
Percent All Respondents
No University Degrees
44.5%
58.3%
49.1%
4-Year & Advanced Degrees
55.5%
41.7%
50.9%
All Respondents
100%
100%
100%

Differences in educational levels also were somewhat more pronounced for different brands within each device category. For example, 48.0% of smartphone users without a 4-year university degree owned an Android-powered smartphone. Conversely, 44.5% of smartphone users with a 4-year or advanced university degree owned an Apple iPhone. The following table compares educational levels between smartphone brands and large media tablet brands.

Education
Android Smartphone
Apple iPhone
Blackberry Smartphone
Android Large Media Tablet
Apple iPad
No University Degrees
51.3%
36.0%
36.1%
43.7%
32.8%
4-Year & Advanced Degrees
48.7%
64.0%
63.9%
56.3%
67.2%
All Respondents
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%

PRINT SUBSCRIBERS: Nearly equal percentages of mobile media device users and non-users said they subscribed to at least one newspaper or newsmagazine. This suggests that users of mobile media devices are not abandoning print media at a faster rate than non-users of mobile devices.

Print Subscribers
Percent Mobile Device Users
Percent Non-Mobile Device Users
Percent All Respondents
Yes
39.8%
40.2%
39.9%
No
60.2%
59.8%
60.1%
All Respondents
100%
100%
100%

Nearly half of the Apple iPad owners indicated that they still subscribed to printed newspapers or newsmagazines. Only a quarter of the Android-powered large media tablet owners said they subscribed. Apple iPhone and Blackberry owners also were significantly more likely to be printed newspaper or newsmagazine subscribers than were owners of Android-powered smartphones. The following table compares the percentages of print news subscribers between smartphone brands and large media tablet brands.

Print Subscribers
Adroid Smartphone
Apple iPhone
Blackberry Smartphone
Android Large Media Tablet
Apple iPad
Yes
31.9%
43.2%
49.3%
25.0%
48.1%
No
68.1%
56.8%
50.7%
75.0%
51.9%
All Respondents
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%
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About Zoran Opalić

Around the World: 1997. NY, USA - Design Workshop at the New York School of Visual Arts // 2003. Hamburg, Germany - Mario Garcia Studio - media design,future of print media.// 2004. Innsbruck, Austria - News Desk, News Desk work shop// 2007. NY, USA - Future of Media and New Technology, New York // 2007. Miami, USA - "React to the news in the short term - in the newsroom work flow". More info: January 1st, 2008: madeIN magazine. Occupation or position held: Publisher/Owner Name and address of employer: Dobro Slovo Brace Domany 8, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia) Type of business or sector Publishing (Magazine) Web January 1st, 2001 - December 31st, 2007 Vecernji list daily. Occupation or position held: Art Director Type of business or sector Publishing, Daily Newspaper. Early Years: I have worked on a different creative media projects — Jutarnji list daily (at the time - 1998. new daily newspapers in Croatia), Globus, Studio, HAK, Nova Vjencanja, Auto Plus...

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