In times of Whatsapp, Facebook and other IP-based messaging services, the good old text message appears to have its best days behind it. In 2012, the number of SMS sent by Americans declined for the first time since its meteoric rise in the early 2000s.
According to the CTIA, a wireless industry trade association, the total number of sent messages fell 5 percent to 2.19 trillion in the past year. That equals about one message per person per day less than a year ago, when Americans on average sent 20 messages per day. Telecommunications research firm Informa had just recently published a research note stating that the number of IP-based messages had overtaken traditional text messages worldwide for the first time last year.
Text messages had long been a major cash cow for wireless carriers who often used to charge 10 cents or more for messages that cost them a fraction of a cent to send.
Interestingly the use of voice calls in the United States has been virtually unchanged in the past five years. On average, Americans spend 20 minutes a day talking on their mobile phones.