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Three-Quarters of the World’s Messages Sent by Mobile

Emerging markets drive mobile communication.

March 24, 2009 | Mobile

Worldwide communication in the future will be done through mobile devices.

According to TNS Global, 74% of the world’s digital messages were sent through a mobile device in January 2009, a 15% increase over the previous year.

Percent of Digital Messages Worldwide that Are Sent from a Mobile Device, January 2008 & January 2009

In emerging markets, the trend is even more dramatic; nine out of 10 messages are sent via mobile.

Some of the growth can be attributed to mobile instant messaging. Thirteen percent of all mobile subscribers used the feature, but 41% of smartphone users did so.

Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) Usage Among Smartphone and Total Mobile Phone Users Worldwide, January 2008 & January 2009 (% of total)

Other increases in mobile usage can be attributed to the abandonment of fixed-line telephones.

“As mobile devices slowly take away usage share from fixed services in developed markets, in emerging markets consumers are more likely to by-pass fixed communications altogether and go straight to mobiles,” said Sam Curtis of TNS.

As for developed countries, the PC e-mail remains the most popular message method, but its use is waning.

In Japan, 40 out of 100 e-mails sent are from a mobile device. In North America, 69% of those using e-mail on their mobile phone use it daily, high compared with 43% worldwide.

The trend will increase, TNS says, as smartphones such as the popular iPhone enter the marketplace and gain share.

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