Mobile phones have been increasing in popularity over the past several years, but the reason is somewhat surprising. Unlike in previous years when buyers wanted a phone for chatting, a recent study has shown that now the majority of buyers want a phone for something else; texting.
Texting, or using your phone to send short text-based messages, has exploded in popularity over the years. It is now the number one reason why users choose the phones that they do, even above price and brand names. In fact, the study, which was conducted by the Nielsen company, recently found that the number one priority when purchasing a cellphone is that it comes with a QWERTY keyboard.
The Nielsen company collected data from over 50,000 phones and came back with some very interesting numbers. They found that, while texting is more popular than voice messaging, the most popular group of texters are teenagers. While this may be somewhat unsurprising, the number of texts sent on average is astounding with the average teen sending over 3,300 texts per month.
Nielsen broke down the numbers even further and found that teen girls text nearly twice as much as teen boys. Females averaged 4,050 texts with teen males trailing significantly at 'only' 2,539. When you take the 3,300 average, that breaks down to four texts per hour of everyday of the month. Considering teens are suppose to sleep for nine hours, plus taking out a few hours for eating, bathing, and driving (we hope!), that equals eight texts per hour.
The second most popular texting groups were young adults between the ages of 18 to 24. While their total couldn't even compete with the sheer number of texts from teenagers, young adults still managed to send a whopping 1,630, or two texts per hour of each day.
The number continues to decrease the older the age you get, but one factor stays the same. No matter how old a person is, females still text more often than males. However Nielsen did find that males are much more likely to use mobile apps, such as games, more often than girls.
The number of text messages sent is constantly raising as well, up by 8% since previous years. The exact reason why text messaging is on the rise remains unclear, but there are several theories. Many phone plans now include "unlimited texting," allowing the phone user to send as many messages as they want without having to pay. Using voice messaging, on the other hand, often costs money and users only have a certain number of minutes. If you go over those minutes, you're charged a fee. This makes texting a cheaper alternative.
You can also do far more with texting. Many websites, including Facebook, Twitter and Live Journal, allow you to text in short messages to your account. Once it's been sent, the message gets published directly on the site. Many popular shows, such as American Idol and Dancing With The Stars, also allow viewers to vote for their favorite contestants as much as they want via text as well.
Others believe that the increase is due to younger generations becoming more anti-social. With so many social networking sites telling you what everyone is doing at every moment of the day, you no longer need to call and ask what's up.
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