Mobile addicts are multiplying at an alarming rate, as an increasing number of teens, college students and middle-age parents fall victim to the problem.
A “mobile addict” is defined as a user that launches apps more than 60 times a day, according to mobile analytics firm Flurry, six times more than the average user.
The number of mobile addicts has grown by 123 percent over the past year, according to Flurry, which looks at data from 500,000 apps across 1.3 billion mobile devices.
As of March 2014, there were 176 million addicts, up from 79 million in the same period last year. Females accounted for 52 percent of addicts, while the rest were males.
It comes as no surprise that teens and college students are part of this group as their youth has coincided with the mobile revolution.
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“[Teens] are not just accustomed to mobile, they expect their mobile device to handle nearly every type of task and communication,” Flurry said.
“The same is true for college students who are noticeably avid users of messaging and gaming apps. They have just entered the workforce, are predominantly single and are likely out and about more often than older and younger segments,” it added.
What’s interesting is the number of middle-aged consumers (aged 35-54) that have exhibited obsessive-compulsive behavior with their mobile devices.
Middle-aged consumers constitute 28 percent of mobile addicts, but account for just 20 percent of the average mobile consumer. Female middle-aged addicts fell into categories such as mothers, gamers and sports fans. Meanwhile, male addicts were parents, car enthusiasts, gamers and catalog shoppers.
Researchers, however, noted that part of the high usage amongst middle-aged users could be because their devices are shared among multiple family members including their children.
“The picture we formed is a family of four, with two phones, one tablet, and all three devices shared by the family for education, entertainment and more utilitarian functions as well,” Flurry said.
Gadget addiction — or nomophobia — has become a growing concern in Asia-Pacific, the region that is leading mobile phone sales growth globally.