New York • Americans are saying CUL8TR to text messaging, a wireless industry group says, as Internet-based applications such as Apple's Messages are starting to take over from what was once a cash cow for phone companies.
CTIA The Wireless Association said Thursday that Americans sent 2.2 trillion text messages last year, down 5 percent from 2011. That's still 19 text messages per person per day.
Text messages vaulted into the U.S. mainstream in 2007, despite often costing 10 cents each. Costs came down quickly as phone companies started selling monthly "bundles" of texts. Now, many carriers give text messaging away for free as part of a plan that mainly meters the amount of data used. That has helped stave off mass migration to Internet chat applications and Facebook messaging in the U.S., making the decline somewhat surprising, said Pamela Clark-Dickson, an analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media in Britain.