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Report Debunks Millennial Workforce Myth

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 7:38am
Monica Alleven

So you think Millennials are the ones driving technology and social media adoption in the workplace? Not so fast, say the authors of the latest iPass Mobile Workforce Report.

Defined in the report as a person age 34 or younger, Millennials are not pushing the envelope as much as many pundits would have you believe. "In reality, older generations are just as disruptive to the status quo in the workforce today," the report states.

So, oldsters take heart. (By the way, iPass puts the median age of a mobile worker today at somewhere around 46.) The report looked at smartphone preferences and work habits of mobile users around the world, and the authors found only minor differences between the various age groups.

While the report is full of insights, it also found something that might fit in the "good-luck-beating-the-iPhone" category. Researchers noticed a difference in the top smartphones when the purchase decision was left in the hands of the employee. When workers bought a device themselves, nearly half chose iPhones. The iPhone was the first choice for both work (29.7 percent) and personal use (46.1 percent) among those who purchased their own personal smartphones.

Not surprisingly, the iPass survey data suggests a loss of market share for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Nokia Symbian devices going forward. Once their current smartphone contracts expire, nearly half of all mobile employees planned to get an iPhone (42.4 percent), an Android (23.8 percent), and only 19.0 percent wanted a BlackBerry. Younger workers appeared to lean toward the Android as their next smartphone, while older workers wanted to stick with their BlackBerrys.

Overall, mobile worker preferences and behavioral characteristics across all age groups were similar – apart from the younger generation's tendency to lose mobile devices in the back of late-night taxi cabs or – "dare we say it – in bars!" (Yes, they went there, conjuring up memories of the Apple employee unfortunate enough to leave an iPhone 4 prototype behind in a Redwood City, Calif., bar earlier this year.)

The latest quarterly report is based on information from two sources: responses to an iPass survey of more than 1,100 mobile enterprise employees between Oct. 6 and 29 and enterprise mobile broadband usage data collected by iPass across its user base of nearly half a million monthly users employed at 3,500 enterprises from July 1 through Sept. 30.

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