Gen MO – Mobile-Only Generation

One of the theories many of us have been writing about for ages now is that there’s a whole bunch of people who are part of Gen MO. Or people who use the mobile exclusively. To be clear, this is not about cutting the cord and getting rid of landlines, but people who only access the web via their mobile phones. They don’t have PCs, in other words and are thus the first generation who are living in our mobile future.

Until this point, the existence of Gen MO has been largely speculation. But now we have actual evidence and the surprise is that there’s many more Gen MO than you might reasonably expect – certainly in emerging markets, but also in developed markets like the US and UK.

On Device Research
is a new kid on the block, founded by Alistair Hill, latterly of research giant, M:Metrics and my old pal and mobile veteran Pamir Gelenbe. As its name suggests, it conducts research and panels via mobiles and it’s getting some great insights that simply weren’t available before.

The latest survey shows that mobile-only usage is as high as 70% in Egypt and 59% in India, with the Big Four Asian markets (India, China, Indonesia, Thailand) coming in at an average of 43% and the Big Five African ones (South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya) even higher at 56%.

But the really big surprise for me is how many MOs we have in the US (25%) and the UK (22%).

Clearly, the case for mobile advertising is already proven beyond all possible doubt. But if you’re still not using mobile to reach your potential customers, there’s clearly a bunch of people you’re just not going to reach.

As a market, these MOs are someone we should all be studying closely. Not only will they give us clues about how they use mobile today, but will provide a really important insight into how we will all be behaving in the future and the tools we need to develop to enable the Post-PC world that we’ve been writing about for a long time now at MobHappy.

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