Texting is Still the Most Used Feature on a Cell Phone
According to Comscore, today in North America there are over 91.4 million smartphones in use. With that many smartphones in use, you can imagine all the different applications people are using on a daily basis. Android currently tops the smartphone market with a 46.9% marketshare. Android is followed by Apple and RIM in terms of smartphone operatiing system marketshare in the US. The OS' each have very rich application stores for end users to select from.
In spite of all the things available for someone to do with a smartphone, texting is still the number one thing they are being used for. It wasn't too long ago that all we had were feature phones, you know, those cell phones that only had a number keypad on them Some were flip phones, and others were bar shaped phones. The only thing you could do with those phones was text, for the most part. And it wasn't too convenient as you needed to spell everything out using the number pad. There were no QWERTY keyboard phones way back when.
Today, 72.6% of the people use their mobile phones for texting. Back when texting firt became popular, you paid 5 cents per text message. That not only included text messages that your sent, but you were also charged 5 cents for text messages you received as well. Some operators even went to 10 cents and 15 cents per message. With the younger generation, that was a recipe for disaster. I like many others had that one child that gave you a heart attack that first time you opened your cell phone bill and saw you owed over $400 in text messages alone. Of course that only happens once because if you were like me, you immediately cancelled the texting option off their phone right after reading them the riot act.
Because folks complained enough, the mobile operators starting selling text messaging in bundles. You might pay $10/month for 250 text messages. Even that was iffy since we know what these kids were capable of.
It wasn't until the operators came up with the unlimited texting plans that we all slept a bit easier. Adding to the unlimited plans, they created the unlimited family plans. It was then that I gave my entire family back the ability to text. I have 5 personal phones in my family (3 kids, my wife, and myself). You can see how having to pay per line for texting was just too expensive for me.
Anyway, unlimited texting today is simply table stakes for all mobile operators. Because of that, I find it utterly amazing just how much texting has taken over our lives. If you are older and have no kids, you're probably thinking "what the heck is this guy talking about?" Those of you with kids know exactly what I'm talking about. The kids these days do not answer their phones if you call them. If you want to contact them, you must text them.
I'll call my sons or daughter and get their voicemail. If I immediately hang up and text them, I'll get a response within seconds. Similarly, they wont call you either. As a matter of fact, I don't even know if my kids even know our home phone number. They would never dial it. Instead, my wife and I will get text messages, providing their whereabouts and/or asking for a pickup!!!
To say the youth of this world overdue texting is an understatement. I have one son who in one month sent/received over 28,000 text messages. Yes, you read that correctly, 28,000!! How is that even possible? These kids actually sleep with their phones right there on their pillows and communicate all night long. It's crazy!!
You know texting is getting out of hand when my wife said she wanted a phone with a Qwerty keyboard. My wife is that person that could care less about technology. All she wanted was a phone that could make phone calls. She was never interested in a smartphone and couldn't imagine why anyone needed one of those!!! Well when she said she needed a Qwerty keyboard, you know texting was becoming a big part of her life, and it has nothing to do with her making it that way. Because the kids only communicate via texting, she had no choice but to text back. As we all know, texting on those feature phones is quite difficult (unless of course your a kid and can text on them without looking).
Anyway, after the kids complaining that her texts made no sense do to the many typos caused by typing on a numeric keypad, she got the qwerty keyboard phone and she can now text with the best of them.
On any given weekend night, I feel like an air traffic controller on my cell phone. Three of my kids are teenagers and when they are all out for the evening, I find myself constantly texting back and forth with each of them, making sure I know where they are, who they are with, and what time they will be ready for a pickup. This is literally repeated every weekend night.
Texting has simply become a key part of our lives. Some of it is very helpful and useful. I get breaking news text messages, I get up to the minute sports news and scores. I also get local emergency information in case of storms, traffic accidents, power outages, or any other critical situation that may be taking place in my town. I often text colleagues if I'm running late for a meeting.
We now live in a world where we are always accessible at all times. So the bottom line, based on the statements made in the beginning of this hub, its no wonder that texting is still the number one applicaion people use on their cell phones. It's just a main part of our daily routine and I dare you to take it away!!!