Although it technically isn’t the original smartphone, the Apple iPhone is often credited with kicking the smartphone phenomenon into high gear. Attribution aside, mobile devices of all kinds can be found in the hands of consumers in every age generation. However, new research shows that these age groups have different tendencies in terms of the devices they prefer to use.

Gen Xers Love Tablet PCs

A recent study conducted by marketing and media research firm Affinity Research shows that generations are divided when it comes to their mobile device consumption. The study profiled three generations of users: baby boomers, Gen Xers (Generation X) and millennials (Generation Y). According to the research, older users prefer devices that are generally more straightforward and easy to use while younger users favor devices that are arguably more complex. The findings of Affinity Research show that Generation X is 16% more likely to own a tablet device than the average consumer, with adoption being spurred mostly by males.

If you factor in research conducted by consumer-centric American research firm GfK MRI, that percentage is even higher. The GfK MRI study showed that people in Generation X are 25% more likely to own a tablet or e-reader than the average U.S. adult consumer. Affinity Research believes that tax bracket plays a role in the adoption of tablets and e-readers among Gen Xers, as its study estimates that consumers making more than $100,000 per year are 63% more likely to own one of these types of mobile devices than other users in their generation.

Boomers Are Interacting with Tablets

Baby boomers in general may not be as tech savvy as younger generations, but research shows that they could be adopting new technology at a rate higher than one might assume. The studies of both Affinity Research and GfK MRI indicate that the baby boomer generation favors e-readers over other mobile devices, with adoption being spurred slightly more by females. According to Affinity Research, consumers in this age group are 19% more likely to own an e-reader than the average consumer, while GfK MRI estimates that they own more Amazon Kindles than Gen Xers and millennials.

Gen Y Is Smartphone Crazy

Speaking of the younger, more technically inclined generation, data from Affinity Research shows that they are adopting smartphones more than baby boomers and Gen Xers, and 28% more likely to own these types of mobile devices than the average consumer. Additionally, the firm estimates that 46.5 million consumers in Generation Y already own smartphones and 24 million have plans of buying one in the next five to six months.