More Americans are using wireless devices, primarily smartphones and laptops, to access Web sites. The number jumped to 59% in May, up from 51% a year ago, according to the Pew Internet Study. What those Americans did online may not have any commercial impact, but the phone users are likely to be having a good time. The greatest increase of use was for instant messaging and e-mail, which are not very profitable for wireless providers. Most cell phone plans have flat fees for these services, and consumers may object to advertisers' efforts to insert marketing material into these messages. The number of wireless users who watch videos increased from 19% to 34% between the two periods, and the number of people who sent pictures rose from 66% to 76%. Again, it is hard to find a way to make these uses into commercial applications. All of this leaves wireless subscriber companies -- including AT&T ( T), Verizon ( VZ) Wireless and Sprint-Nextel ( S) -- to contemplate where they can increase their profits from the evolving trends in 3G activity.
| More from 24/7 Wall St. 10 Brands That Will Disappear in 2011 |
The 13 Housing Markets That Will Never Recover
The 20 Most Productive Nations in the World