The Pew Research Center has released a report that to me supports Microsoft’s strategy for the Kin. The report shows that 54% of teens they surveyed in September 2009 are texting, which is an increase from 38% that reported texting in February 2008. Texting has become the primary way for teens to reach their friends. Microsoft’s Kin “social smartphone” is targetted directly at this market.
While the Kin will work well for text messaging, the social networking aspects of Kin might be of a little less importance. Pew’s data shows that 25% of all teens they surveyed use social networks to contact their friends. The report, however, doesn’t measure how many teens use their phones to access social network sites. Finally, the Pew report gives an indication of the size of the teen market for smartphones by showing that 75% of the 12 to 17 year olds own cell phones, up from 45% in 2004. I am sure that Microsoft is hoping those numbers will translate into a lot of sales of Kin phones.