Some recent stats around SMS mobile activity have been staggering to say the least. I thought it would be fun to play around with some numbers just to put in perspective what we’re talking about here.
For starters, let’s look at the CTIA 50. As of December 2010, there were 302.9 million wireless subscribers. That’s 2 million more subscriptions than there were people in the entire US in 2006 and 3.34 times more people than who voted in the entire 2010 election. According to the same study, in the 12 months ending June 2010, more than 1.8 trillion text messages were sent and received (or 4.9 billion per day). How big is 1.8 trillion? Well 1.8 trillion miles is good for about 3 and a half million round trips to the moon (3.768 million to be more precise). And 4.9 billion? Well if every single person in the world’s top ten countries by population send out a text (that’s everyone in China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, and Japan combined), you would still have 854 million texts left over (coincidentally 854 million is roughly half way between the minimum and maximum number of miles between Earth and Saturn).
How about some other numbers? We all know that teens love texting. According to a recent Marketing Charts study, 47% of teens can text with their eyes closed. That’s slightly less than 10 million people who can text with their eyes closed (9.9 million), or 951 times (in the US alone) the total number of athletes that competed in the Beijing Olympics.
And an ROI perspective? According to a recent mobile marketer case study, a BMW auto dealer cut out 4-5 cancellations per day using SMS. Well according to Consumer Guide, the average cost of 10 repairs for a BMW 3-series is $790.50. So even if we assume that a repair shop can fill half of its cancelled time slots with last minute adjustments, that’s still $1976 (790*2) extra dollars earned by a BMW dealer per day, or slightly less than half a million dollars per year (1976*5*50 = $494K). Even if you estimate that the dealer sent out 100 text message reminders per day (probably high for just 4-5 missed cancellations and they’re probably not 100 repair slots available in a day), you could do this with Msgme’s Starter Package (4K text messages per month) for $3K for the whole year. So ROI would be $494K – $3K = $491K – just for appointment reminders via text message at one auto dealer ($491K is enough to buy 12 of those same BMWs at the max price listed on the Consumer Guide).
And finally, a stat that I can’t find the original source for, but has been circling the wires for a while now: 91% of people are within 3 ft. of their phone 24 hrs/day. That’s 6.8 billion (311MM*.91*24 = 6.796B to be precise) hours a human being in the US spends within arms reach of a cellular phone per day – or 5.24 billion more hours than a human being in the US spends in front of a television (time spent in front of a TV: 311MM * 5 hours = 1.5B). And 5.24 billion? Well that’s slightly less than the number of microseconds (one millionth of a second) in three episodes of the Simpsons (about 87 minutes).
You can breathe now. Happy texting!
Have an interesting stat we missed? Please post them below in the comments section.