Press Release

How Americans Use Their Cell Phones

  • April 03, 2006

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The cell phone has become an integral and, for some, essential communications tool that has helped owners gain help in emergencies. Fully 74 percent of the Americans who own mobile phones say they have used their hand-held device in an emergency and gained valuable help.

Another striking impact of mobile technology is that Americans are using their cell phones to shift they way they spend their time. Some 41 percent of cell phone owners say they fill in free time when they are traveling or waiting for someone by making phone calls. And 44 percent say they wait to make most of their cell calls for the hours when they do not count against their “anytime” minutes in their basic calling plan.

At the same time, there are new challenges associated with cell phone use. More than a quarter of cell phone owners (28 percent) admit they sometimes do not drive as safely as they should while they use their mobile devices. Among cell phone users, men (32 percent) are more likely than women (25 percent) to admit they sometimes don't drive as safely as they should.

Furthermore, 82 percent of all Americans and 86 percent of cell users report being irritated at least occasionally by loud and annoying cell users who conduct their calls in public places.

Indeed, nearly one in ten cell phone owners (8 percent) admit they themselves have drawn criticism or irritated stares from others when they are using their cell phones in public.

For some, the cell phone has become so central to their communications needs that they lose track of the expenses associated with their phones. Some 36 percent of cell owners say they have been shocked from time to time at the size of their monthly bills.