Study: Yanks Luv 2 Txt

Upoc survey finds that mobile phone penetration rates are slowing, but the adoption of text messaging is skyrocketing, up 50% from last year

February 25, 2003

3 Min Read

NEW YORK -- Upoc, the leading developer of mobile community and marketing technologies, today released the results of its annual tracking study on the state of the U.S. mobile market. The annual, nationally representative survey of over 1,100 respondents was conducted by Frank N. Magid and Associates. The findings indicate that mobile phone penetration rates are slowing, but the adoption of text messaging is growing rapidly, which bodes well for carriers searching for additional ways of increasing their revenues apart from minutes used for voice calls -- and for marketers seeking new ways of reaching their audiences. Furthermore, high purchase intent rates indicate that wireless carriers have not yet exhausted their base of potential customers, despite overall penetration rates flattening from last year's study numbers. Mobile Phone Penetration Rivals Other Mass Media
Mobile phone ownership among Americans 12 and over has hit 59%, or over 140 million Americans. While growth is slowing, the study shows that almost a quarter of non-owners intend to buy a mobile phone in the near future. Carriers Are Educating Their Consumers
Carriers have a way to go when it comes to educating their consumers on the benefits of text messaging. While the vast majority of mobile Americans are aware of text messaging, only 50% of them believe that their phone is capable of sending and receiving short text messages. (The actual number is approaching 90%.) Adoption will continue to rise as carriers continue to inform their customers about this capability. SMS Penetration Up 50% From Last Year
27 million U.S. mobile phone owners 12+ already use text messaging (up from 18 million last year). A surprising number of those both send and receive SMS messages (72% of all respondents who use text messaging; 85% of 12-34 year olds who use text messaging), while 21% only receive (37% of 35-54 year olds). SMS usage is clearly a part of consumers' personal lives, with 73% sending messages to friends, 70% to family members, and only 26% to business contacts. This bodes well for marketers as they search for additional ways to reach an ever-fragmenting audience. Wireless Internet
35% of American mobile phone owners 12+ have wireless Internet availability on their phones (up from 21% last November), and 21% of those are already using it. This gap between availability and usage will narrow as carriers continue to develop mobile content and applications that consumers want. Mobile vs. Landline
28% of U.S. mobile phone owners 12+ would consider dropping their landlines and switching to exclusively using their mobile phones. Mobile Communication is a Priority
When asked which item they would be least willing to live without for a month (mobile phone, landline, television, newspaper, magazines, computer, radio, stereo, Palm Pilot, or the Internet), Americans on the whole value their home phone (18%) and television (17%) higher than their mobile phones (11%). However, teens (18%) and college-aged Americans (23%) both value their mobile phones above all other options, speaking to the fact that mobile phones have become a necessity in their social life-driven mobile lifestyle. Upoc Inc.

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