According to a new report by the consulting firm Chetan Sharma, text messaging is declining for the first time in America. Cell phone users sent an average of 678 texts a month in the third quarter of this year, which is a decline from the previous quarter’s high of 696 texts a month.
While nearly 700 texts a month may sound like a lot, users aged 18–24 sent roughly 3,200 texts a month according to a 2011 Pew report. Ninety-five percent of this cohort owned cell phones and 97% of these owners used the text messaging feature. These users are currently propping up overall text messaging levels. Nevertheless, they are rapidly switching over to smartphones with data plans. Overall, about 75% of new mobile phone purchases were of smartphones this past quarter and the market is still expending to the 70% of households without them.