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The 2005 Wireless Shopper

UsatodayWhen people think of shopping, my guess is that more people are closer to their mobile phones than their computer. We can't email the local Banana Republic, but we can sure use 411 or text "banana republic" to GOOGL and get the nearest store location.

Some 2004 figures on cell phone usage in the U.S. released by the CTIA, via USA Today.

-- There are 180.5 wireless subscribers, up 21.7 million from last year.

-- Talking remains the No. 1 activity for subscribers. Wireless voice minutes exceeded 1.1 trillion in 2004, compared with 29 billion minutes 10 years ago.

-- Text messaging is also on the upswing. Monthly short-message service (SMS) passed 4.6 billion messages - more than double the 2003 figure and more than 300 times the total at the end of 2000. What was the cause? Carriers got together and agreed to enable text messages sent from one carrier's phone to be received by a different carrier's handset.

"Today, more than 60% of Americans are using a wireless device to talk, send e-mail, take pictures, watch video and listen to music," said Steve Largent, former NFL star and CTIA CEO. "It's not just a phone; it's a lifestyle tool." Steve is maintaining a blog about the convention.

44% of all 10 to 18-year olds in the US own a cell phone, although a separate study shows that cell phone ownership drops to 1% for children ages 9 and younger.

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