Breaking Analysis: Is Texting No Longer Sexy?

New research from Chetan Sharma Consulting shows that U.S. mobile operators experienced their first-ever decline in overall overall text messaging traffic and revenues, with third quarter data revenues of $19.9 billion. SiliconANGLE News Desk Editor Kristen Nicole attributes this initial decrease to an increase in messaging taking place with data plans, shifting away from the SMS that uses wireless networks. Typically, when a technology starts to slow down, it’s usually an indicator that another trend is up and coming. In this case, Kristen says data is the way to go. She said, “When it comes to the revenue being generated from data, it’s really indicative of where the consumer behavior is headed.”

Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility are the top two players where data revenues are concerned, but Sharma research showed mobile data usage leveling off this year. Kristen Nicole reminded viewers of the tremendous growth mobile data has seen in the past five years, to where almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet these days.

Although it’s unclear whether this text messaging decline will be an on-going pattern or the start of a slow death, Kristen noted that consumers are starting to use other options, such as chat tools. She added that applications have taken over a lot of the functionality of mobile devices.

Mergers and acquisitions are one way that Kristen sees operators as trying to increase their revenue streams. She said that operators themselves can act as a distribution channel for things like mobile applications. She gave the example of Qik Mobile Video Chat service being able to survive the mobile transition when they teamed up with Sprint and remained buoyant until they were acquired by Skype. “That’s a good alternative for running your application through the larger marketplaces, like the iTunes app store or GooglePlay. If you have that partnership with an operator, then you might be able to do something like get your app included as a pre-install on a device.” Other third quarter mergers involved T-Mobile acquiring MetroPCS and Sprint and Softbank merging.

It could be too early to say how Windows 8 is faring in the mobile device market against Apple iOS and Android, but Kristen said it has added another strong option to this area. See the whole segment with Kristin Feledy and Kristen Nicole on the Morning NewsDesk Show.