SMS Messaging Traffic in Decline

Brian X. Chen, writing for the NYT’s Bits blog:

For the first time, the American wireless market saw a decline in the total number of messages sent by each customer each month, according to a report published Monday by Chetan Sharma, an independent mobile analyst who is a consultant for wireless carriers. In the third quarter of this year, cellphone owners sent an average of 678 texts a month, down from 696 texts a month in the previous quarter.

Though that’s a small dip, the change is noteworthy because for several years, text messaging had been steadily growing in the United States. Mr. Sharma said it was too early to tell whether the decline here would continue, but he noted that Internet-based messaging services, like Facebook messaging and Apple’s iMessage, had been chomping away at SMS usage. He said the decline would become more pronounced as more people buy smartphones. A bit more than 50 percent of cellphone owners here have smartphones.

As an iOS user, iMessage has increasingly become the way I text message nowadays. More and more of my family and friends are using (or becoming) iOS users, which is great because it means I can potentially dump my SMS plan sooner than later. Cutting off my plan would a) effectively be giving AT&T a big “fuck you”; and b) shave $20 off my bill every month, as that’s the amount I pay for unlimited texts.

(via Jim Dalrymple)