December 21, 2010, 5:44 PM — It may not be quite as bold as "going commando," but more than half of Americans age 25-29 now go without landlines.
For the first time ever, more members of a specific age group live in homes with cell phones -- but no landlines -- than live in homes with landlines.
A report on phone use by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that the younger children are, the likelier they are to live in homes that only have wireless phones. That suggests that younger parents are showing increasing comfort relying only on cell phones even as they adjust from being single to a more settled family lifestyle, according to one of the report's authors.
Overall, more than one in four (27 percent) U.S. households were cellphone-only in the first six months of 2010. That percentage is nearly double what it was just three years ago, when only 14 percent of households were using wireless services exclusively.
* 51% of Americans ages 25 to 29 lived in homes that had only cell phone service in the first half of the year.
* 13% of U.S. households had landlines and no cell phones (versus 24% three years ago)
* 2% of American households have no phone service
It all makes you wonder how far away the crossover point (50 percent) is. If the number of cellphone-only households increases 4 to 5 percentage points a year, it'd break 50 percent in five or six years.
I'm guessing it will happen faster than that, especially as the notion of not owning a landline phone becomes more acceptable, particularly to older consumers. Throw in the increasing sophistication of smartphones and, honestly, it's hard to build an argument in favor of landlines. Once enough Americans accept as basic fact that they no longer need landlines, the adoption curve will accelerate.
I think we could hit 50% wireless for households in four years. Anyone else with a prediction?
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.