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Data use overtakes voice on cellphones

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Fri May 14, 2010

Cellphones now used more for Internet and text

Data use overtook voice on cellphones for the first time, according to CTIA data. Internet access and text messaging occupied more data on US carriers' networks than did the equivalent in calls. The reversal came both through a 50 percent jump in text messaging but also the rise of data-first smartphones like the Droid and iPhone.

Calls have also grown shorter and are now more likely to be used for crucial info rather than usual conversations. A typical same-area call has dropped to 1.8 minutes from nearly 2.3 in 2008.

The shift has a number of social factors at work. Teenagers are now growing up with messaging phones, and nearly all text their friends. Phones are also steadily moving away from designs optimized for the ear and towards wider, larger-screened models meant for e-mail and the web. The companies with the most market share in smartphones are those who have the most experience producing touchscreen or QWERTY keyboard devices, such as Apple and RIM, where call-focused companies like Nokia have struggled.

by MacNN Staff



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