US mobile users sending fewer text messages: 678 per month

The third-quarter drop in SMS use was the first ever in the U.S., showing the effects of IP-based messaging systems, a report says

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

Still, mobile data traffic is huge: For this year, it's likely to go over two exabytes, according to Sharma. For some carriers, the average monthly use by a smartphone user is almost 900MB. As the average user's total grows, it could mean bigger data plans, at higher prices, coming in the future, the report said.

Data now accounts for nearly 43 percent of mobile industry service revenues in the U.S., and by early next year it's likely to generate a majority of the money coming in, Sharma said. Voice calls represent less than 10 percent of all network traffic, according to the report, but still generate revenue out of proportion to the amount of capacity they consume.

More than 75 percent of the devices carriers sold in the third quarter were smartphones, according to Sharma. Google's Android platform represented the largest portion of those phones, but Apple dominated the market in terms of revenue and profit. Apple sold 6 percent of the volume of handsets worldwide but got 70 percent of the total smartphone profit. Meanwhile, Apple led in unit shipments for tablets, and took in 95 percent of all tablet profits, Sharma reported.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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