In two recently published forecasts — the Forrester Research Mobile Media Application Spending Forecast, 2012 To 2017 (EU-7) and the Forrester Research Mobile Media Application Spending Forecast, 2012 To 2017 (US) — we looked at mobile and tablet content usage for games, music, video, and messaging across the US and seven countries in Western Europe. As content availability becomes more synonymous with handset choice, the forecast helps us understand the proportion of mobile commerce that we can attribute to those who use and pay for digital content.
Even with the increased use of instant messaging, SMS remains the workhorse of mobile — with a 14% increase in the number of SMS messages sent in 2011 compared with 2010. More than 2 trillion SMS messages were sent in the US in 2011, which equates to more than 6 billion SMS messages sent per day. Text messaging users send or receive an average of 35 messages per day. Although by 2017 SMS will dominate mobile content spend less than it does today, it will still remain significant.
SMS messages allow quick, direct communication that works on all types of phone. In addition, US adults are more than twice as likely to have adopted SMS as any other form of mobile messaging, such as email, MMS, or instant messaging. With more than 80% of the US population owning a mobile phone and with almost 70% of these phone owners regularly sending or receiving text messages, SMS will remain a significant part of the mobile landscape for the foreseeable future.