US - Cell phones beat landlines in service dollars

Another woe for telco landline product managers: Americans now spend more for cell phones than landline phone services, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In 2007 - the latest year for official figures - 54 percent of all consumer phone expenditures were on cell phones. Landlines made up 43 percent, with the remaining 2 percent going for other services such as pagers (Pagers?) and phone cards.  

It is the first time cell phones have topped landlines in annual consumer spending as monitored by BLS. Landlines had a majority share as recently as 2003, when they grabbed 65 percent of all U.S. phone expenditures. But they started dropping rapidly after that, going to 60 percent in 2004, 54 percent in 2005, and hitting 50 percent in 2006.

Phone services are big business. The typical U.S. consumer circa 2007 spent $1,110 on phone services, with $608 going to cell phones, $482 for landlines, and $20 for other services (Guess the 411/directory assistance calls add up).  Consumers under the age of 25 direct 75 percent of their phone dollars to cell phones, with percentages dropping for each upward move on the age ladder.

For more:
- Sacramento Biz Journal. Article.

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