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May 12, 2004
Mobile: teenagers as evangelists

US mobile marketers will soon start loving teenagers. Young users are the market segment most willing to pay for wireless content and services. They love MMS, the possibility to download ringtones and music and play with their mobile phones. As an article published a couple of weeks ago on BizReport explains: "For the typical adult, the wireless phone is a device for getting business done, say phone company executives. But among the young, the untethered phone has transcended mere utility and becomes a symbol of freedom to talk without parental intrusion, as well as a way of networking with friends, a form of entertainment and an accessory that reflects social rank."
This is terribly true, but it's also a clear sign that the US mobile market it's still in its infancy. Cellular phones become successful at first as a status symbol, and then "grow up" improving the quality of their image perceived by a broader (mass) market. It happened in Europe, and I'm sure it will happen in the US. In a way, teenagers will play the evangelists' role in building the value of mobile phones.

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