Nine-in-ten Americans now own a cell phone, and are using them for much more than phone calls.
Callin’ out around the world; are you ready for a brand new phone?
Last week, there may not have been dancing in the streets, but there were block-long lines as shoppers anticipated Apple, Inc.’s biggest product introduction this year, the debut of its new iPhone 5s and 5c.
The launch coincides with the release of a new Pew Research survey that finds nine-in-ten Americans now own a cell phone, and that they are using them for much more than phone calls. What are the most popular activities people perform on their cell phones? The Pew survey found:
• 81% of cell phone owners send or receive text messages
• 60% of cell phone owners access the internet
• 52% send or receive email
• 50% download apps
• 49% get directions, recommendations, or other location-based information
• 48% listen to music
• 21% participate in a video call or video chat (video calling has tripled since May 2011)
Age is perhaps the most significant factor in how owners use their cell phones, with Millennials taking fullest advantage of all of their cell phone’s features. For example, 84 percent of cell phone users ages 18-29 access the Internet on their phones, compared with 72 percent of Gen Xers, 45 percent of Baby Boomers, and just 19 percent of seniors.
Similarly, nearly all (97 percent) of Millennials send or receive text messages on their cell phones vs. 35 percent of seniors.
Education attainment, too, is a factor in how cell phone owners user their phones, with those with a college degree more likely than those with lesser education to maximize full usage of their cell phone. For example, 62 percent of cell phone users with a college education download apps to their phone vs. 36 percent of those without a high school diploma.
A recent study of Affluent usage of mobile technology and social media conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner found that the cell phone trumps landlines as the preferred form of communication. Twenty-nine percent of Affluent respondents estimated they spend at least half of their telephone usage time on their landline while 36.5 percent reported spending less than 10 percent of their telephone time on their landline.
Age, again, is a factor with older respondents most likely to spend more time on their landline phone. Tellingly, of the more than three-fourths (76 percent) of investors who still have landlines, almost half (46 percent) report they have considered getting rid of it.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.