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Teenagers Turning their Back on Nokia - Prefer Sony Ericsson and Samsung

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The importance of mobile phones in teenagers' lives is increasing rapidly according to the latest survey carried out by social networking website, Habbo. 58,480 teens that took part in the survey say also that Nokia is the number one mobile brand globally.

However, Nokia's dominance at the top of the global chart has been weakened over the last 18 months. In the survey, conducted across 31 countries by Habbo, it is clear that Nokia has lost some favour with teens to Sony Ericsson and Samsung since autumn 2006, when the previous Global Habbo Youth Survey was conducted.

Despite still being the favoured handset in 15 of the 31 countries polled, Nokia loses out to Sony Ericsson in markets such as the UK, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland. In all of these markets Nokia ranked first in 2006. In the UK both Sony Ericsson and Samsung are rated higher than Nokia. This suggests that brand loyalty to Nokia, amongst teens globally, hasn't increased alongside Nokia's market share, which reached 40% in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Compared to the previous 2006 survey, mobile phone usage was the one single area that showed the most significant growth compared to other topics surveyed. The results show for example that teens are now regularly using their mobile handsets as entertainment devices. In the 2006 survey only 38 per cent of teens used their handset to listen to music; now 71 per cent of teenagers are using their mobiles as a portable mp3 player. 80 percent of teens in Singapore, Italy and Austria listened to music in this way, though teens in Japan and Finland listen to music on their mobiles the least.

In addition to talking, text messages are still the most used phone function, with 88 per cent of teens regularly communicating via SMS. But the survey shows that teens are also using entertainment applications much more than they were in 2006. 70 per cent of teens are now using their mobile to take photos and videos, an 11 percentage points increase compared to 2006. 64 per cent now play games on their mobile compared to 51 per cent in 2006. Over a quarter of teens also use their mobile to surf the net, email and send instant messages.

Teens are now using their mobiles to simultaneously access information, communicate and have fun. The teen mobile phone market is competitive and lucrative; but it is clear that by developing phones that deliver an engaging user experience across applications, such as texting, listening to mp3s and playing games, mobile brands can attract a new teen audience to their devices.

A report of the Global Habbo Youth Survey 2008 is available to buy as a hard copy book of 250 pages.  For inquiries and orders, please contact: marketinsight@sulake.com

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