27% of Households Use Cell Phones Only


NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Consumers continue to abandon landlines in favor of mobile phones, with 27% of households now relying solely on mobile phones as of the first quarter of 2010.

That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compile statistics on mobile phone usage during its ongoing National Health Interview Survey. It’s a continuation of a growing trend, as the CDC previously found that one in five households had ditched landlines for cell phones as of the second half of 2008.

“The prevalence of such ‘wireless-only’ households now markedly exceeds the prevalence of households with only landline telephones (12.9%), and this difference is expected to grow,” reads the report.

Some states are more ahead of the trend than others, with Southern states leading the way. Arkansas leads the pack with a whopping 35.2% of households going wireless-only, while Mississippi and Texas aren’t far behind at 35.1% and 32.5%, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, just 13% of Rhode Island households had abandoned landlines for mobile phones.

As the CDC notes, this trend mainly has implications for polling firms and researchers, which risk biasing their results if they exclude wireless-only households. That’s especially true given that these mobile-only Americans tend to be from a younger demographic, so pollsters who only call landlines might be speaking to older Americans rather than an accurate cross-section of the country.

Despite the trend, though, landlines aren’t completely dead. As MainStreet reported last year, tech companies are always finding new ways to make landline phones relevant, putting out phones with Internet capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity and high-definition video screens.

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