Acision: 91% of U.S. smartphone owners actively use SMS
NEW ORLEANS--Despite the increasing prevalence of over-the-top messaging services, 91 percent of U.S. smartphone owners still actively use SMS, according to a new survey conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of mobile messaging firm Acision.
Sixty-five percent of all smartphone owners surveyed said they need SMS on their devices, with 45 percent stating they would be lost without the service despite easy access to OTT/IM rivals. Acision notes that 79 percent of users between the ages of 18 and 25 are dependent on SMS.
The typical U.S. smartphone owner sends 107 SMS messages each week. Sixty-two percent of American smartphone owners have unlimited SMS bundles: "This concludes that the right pricing or package encourages SMS usage and may be an influencing factor in the popularity of SMS vs. OTT," Acision notes.
Fifty-percent of U.S. smartphone owners use SMS alternatives to complement traditional texting. Forty-seven percent prefer SMS over OTT/IM apps because of speed of delivery, followed by reach (43 percent) and reliability (38 percent). Users select OTT/IM apps when they wish to leverage enhanced features: Twenty-eight percent cited content sharing as their biggest reason for turning to OTT services, with speed at 27 percent and cross-platform interoperability at 25 percent. Only 4 percent of smartphone owners believe IM is more reliable than SMS.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay for enhanced SMS services with features like message delivery notifications, message search and group messaging. Fifty-two percent said they would use an operator OTT-type service, and only 5 percent said they would have no interest in this type of offering.
Acision reports that Facebook is the most popular OTT/IM app actively used by U.S. smartphone owners at 37 percent, followed by Skype (17 percent), Twitter (also 17 percent), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iMessage (11 percent) and BlackBerry Messenger (10 percent). Operating system-agnostic OTT/IM solution WhatsApp is used by just 5 percent of U.S. consumers.
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