Published in Mobiles

Cell phone only ownership jumps in U.S.

by on07 May 2009


Good news for mobile phone companies

U.S. consumers are abandoning their home telephones that are tied to land lines in unprecedented numbers. According to a National Health Interview Survey done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention during the last half of 2008, nearly 20 percent of U.S. households said they now rely solely on their mobile phones and just 17 percent said they owned only a landline-based phone. 

This is in increase of almost 3 percent of exclusive cellphone ownership over the first half of 2008. Sixty percent of households surveyed said they have both cell phones and landline phones, and one in 50 of those surveyed said they had no phone at all.

The new exclusively mobile phone only number compares to only 3 percent of U.S. households relying on mobile phones in the first half of 2003, and 43 percent owning only a landline-based phone. The CDC says that the shift to mobile only phone ownership is mostly due to the recession and consumers cutting discretionary costs. About 33 percent of adults aged 18 to 24 live in cellphone-only households, with those aged 25 to 29 accounting for 25 percent of cellphone-only homes. Those with higher incomes reported keeping both types of phones in use.

However, even those who do have land lines frequently reported that their land lines are not used for phone conversations, but are most often plugged into their computers or other technology devices. Accordingly, this means that more than 33 percent of U.S. households are only reachable by mobile phone.

This has major implications for pollsters and telemarketers, as cell phones numbers are unlisted and easily changed in the event too many unwanted calls are being received.
Last modified on 07 May 2009
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