U.S. wireless market penetration passes 100 percent

Chetan Sharma
According to a new study of the U.S. cellular phone market, the number of devices in use has effectively reached 100 percent market penetration. In his second quarter 2010 update on the state of the U.S. wireless industry, Chetan Sharma reports that the number of wireless accounts in the country has reached 95 percent penetration — but excluding those younger than 5 years old, it exceeds 100 percent.

Among his other findings:

  • Thirty-one percent of U.S. wireless subscribers now use smart phones.
  • AT&T and Verizon now earn 70 percent of the revenues for data services and 62 percent of the overall revenues for monthly wireless subscriptions.
  • U.S. wireless users average about 639 text messages per user per month.
  • The average U.S. wireless subscriber uses approximately 230 MB of data each month, a 50 percent increase in the past six months.
As others have noted, publishers have less than three years to re-adjust their digital strategies to fully embrace mobile platforms. The rapid increase in smart phone ownership and overall cell phone ownership, as well as wireless data use, only reinforces the urgency.

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