|Wireless phones are crucially important to growing numbers of consumers.
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Conducted by Upoc, a wireless marketing firm, with Frank N. Magid and Associates, the research project asked which device users would be more willing to give up for a month if they were forced to. Included in the options were land lines, newspapers, magazines, PCs, radio, the Internet and handheld devices.
Released today, the study found that 140 million Americans, or 59%, ages 12 and up own mobile phones
Some 35% of U.S. mobile phone owners 12 and older were found to have a wireless Internet feature on their handsets, up from 21% in November, 2002, and 21% of them are using it. Games, restaurant and movie listings, sports scores and weather alerts are the most popular features.
"What we found is that the awareness of SMS [short message service] is growing," said Greg Clayman, vice president of marketing and business development for Upoc.
Among the study's other findings:
- 27 million Americans already use the text-messaging feature on their cell phones, up from 18 million in 2002.
- Text-messaging penetration is up 50% from 2002.
- 19% of U.S. mobile phone owners age 12 and older use text-messaging features, up 13% from November 2002. And 72% of this group sends and receives text messages
- Regardless of age, most text messaging is personal, with 73% sending messages to friends, 70% to family members and only 26% to business contacts.
- 28% of U.S. mobile phone owners age 12 and older would consider dropping their land lines and switching to exclusively using their mobile phones.