SMS. It’s still the killer app for mobile

Since the early noughties SMS has seen a steady rise in usage of over 30% a year. Even in 2009s resessionary environment, it still grew nearly as much as the previous year.
However, do iphones, Blackberrys and Nokias pose a threat to good old fashioned SMS? With the trend towards always on, data connected phones are users likely to switch to free forms of communication such as mobile and email?
Not according to a study by Tekelec. Their research in Sept 2009 looked at global SMS use. Not only did it seem that SMS was on the rise, but much of that was due to increased adoption by older generations. 60% of over 45s said they were just as likely to send a text as they were to make calls. In the youth sector SMS was the preferred method of communication (38%) over email (28%) or voice calls (33%).
Why SMS and not email? The main reason cited was that SMS gets a faster response. It even gets a faster response than email. However, it would appear that social media may actually be helping the growth of SMS, for example with text-based updates to Twitter.
Another point, not included in the study is that most users have bundles or subscriptions which include a certain amount of SMS. From the user perspective therefore, texting has the functional benefit of speed, but without any additional cost.

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