What’s a Phone, Anyway?

POTS (plain old telephone service) and our dearly beloved landline telephones are being eclipsed by smart phones worldwide, fast. So are cell phones, for that matter.

And, by the end of 2011, The Nielsen Company predicts smartphones will also overtake feature phones (that is, plain old cell phones) in the U.S. market. Google’s Android OS has shown the most significant expansion in market share among current subscribers. Android’s rise is even more noticeable among new smartphone subscribers in the last six months where Android has nosed past Apple’s iOS in the last quarter to grab a 27% share of those recent smartphone subscribers.

Expect to see more households setting up only wireless/broadband/cable packages, while the landline outlets will be painted over in homes around the world.

Working from a home office, I observe landline phone usage habits among by family of four. 90% of inbound calls are of the automated telemarketing sort. Our handy in-line gizmo, Telezapper answers the call, sends a signal to remove and delete my number from the caller’s list, and hangs up before the caller even hears my voice. The remaining 10% of calls are from family members — parents — who are used to dialing our home number. Rarely do my two children make or take calls.

Location-based, GPS functions on smart phones will make advertising and promotional contacts more focused and local than ever, which is sort of valuable to phone users. And, for business and call center applications, the smartphone technology will enable myriad services that lower cost, increase worker mobility and make transactions more efficient.

Read more at nielsenwire, The Nielsen Company’s excellent blog site.

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