Jacobs Media Examines 'The Mighty Mighty Cell Phone'
April 26, 2007 at 10:15 AM (PT)
A new survey from JACOBS MEDIA clearly shows the growing influence and importance of the cell phone. "Technology Poll III" finds that overall, 92% of the entire sample own one -- up from 90% in ’06. And in the past year, nearly half (48%) say they're using cell phones a little or a lot more. This is a gadget that women are especially comfortable with. They use cell phones more often than men, and they are more apt to enjoy and use many of the features that are becoming standard equipment on these devices.
The cell phone is having a significant impact on our culture.... This is a shift not to be taken lightly.
Cell phones are also a dominant player in the lives of AMERICA's s youth. When given a choice of devices and technologies, ranging from television to the Internet to FM radio, 18-34 year-olds say that cell phones are the one thing they cannot live without. Three in 10 (28%) 18-34s chose the cell phone -- tied with the Internet -- as the most indispensable of devices.
"The cell phone is having a significant impact on our culture," says JACOBS MEDIA President FRED JACOBS. "It's more than just providing consumers with a communication lifeline. It is altering connectivity, commerce, and even impacts the way politicians conduct polling and fundraising. We now have a culture that can be connected 24/7, but is more challenging to reach. Their access to information is unlimited, but they now control the message in their hands. This is a shift not to be taken lightly."
Besides talking, texting is the most utilized cell phone component. Three-fourths (76%) of those who own a cell phone say they have utilized texting -- especially 18-34 year olds and Alternative fans. More than four in 10 (44%) cell-phone owners text message at least weekly. From the 2006 study, this is an increase of 25%. During this same period, IMing on a computer has dropped 13%, suggesting that cell-phone texting has become the dominant "thumb communication" medium.
Many people text with great regularity. One-third of those who text (32%) do so daily, while 5% report texting on an hourly basis. Women and Alternative fans are more likely to communicate via text messaging. And one in 10 (11%) of the 18-34 year-olds in this sample reports texting hourly. Meanwhile, half indicate they download ringtones and have played games utilizing their cell phones.
Finally, the "Cell Phone Only" situation continues to be a growing problem, as those who no longer have a land line and use their cell phones as their primary service are unable to participate in ARBITRON ratings surveys. During the past three surveys, "Cell Phone Only" levels have increased from 17% to 21% to 23% in this new ’07 survey. More than four in ten (42%) Alternative fans now fall into this category, as do half (50%) of 18-29s.