Here are some interesting statistics about cellphone use from Nielsen Mobile, a division of The Nielsen Company.
The average cellphone user placed 204 calls per months in the second quarter of 2008 (2Q08). That number has been approximately the same since 1Q06, while the average number of text message skyrocketed from 65 per person per month in 1Q06 to 357 per person per month in 2Q08. This means that the average cellphone user sends 75% more text messages than phone calls per month. This is the third consecutive quarter where the average number of text messages outnumbered phone calls.
This number is driven in part by teen users, who placed an average of 231 calls and 1,742 text messages per month. However, every age bracket between 13 and 45 sent more text messages than phone calls on average.
Landline Cord Cutters
More than 20 million U.S. households (17%) use wireless phones instead of having a landline (which they call wireless substitutors), and that number could reach 20% by the end of 2008. Households with one or two residents and households with income under $40,000 were more likely to do without a landline. People with landlines become wireless substitutors generally after moving (31%) or after changing jobs (22%). Wireless substitutors use their cellphones more than people with landlines, but still saved money overall.
Nielsen Mobile believes that the wireless substitutor trend may soon include cutting the cord on broadband Internet access in favor of wireless data cards and carrier data networks.
What Does This Mean?
Text messaging is becoming an important tool for reaching your audience. You can expect to find similar jumps in the users of social media tools that use text messaging as well. Technologies that reply on a landline, such as a fax machine, must shift to other platforms, like email, to continue to be effective. Also, look for potential pricing changes as broadband service providers react to a drop in customers.