Back in 2007 I blogged about an article from the New York Times talking about how the number of cell phones are surpassing the number of landline phones in the home. Well Newsweek has an article titled Phones Without Homes: What’s really killing the land-line phone business. The article talks about young folks turning away from landline phones and how cell phone sells are increasing while landline sells are decreasing.
It’s not exactly insightful to point out that young people don’t feel the need to have old-fashioned telephones, the kind that are tethered to a house via a wire and provided by a descendant of the original AT&T. This week, when I conducted an informal survey of summer interns and the under-30 set in the offices of both Slate and Newsweek, inquiring whether they had telephones in their sorority houses and shared urban rentals, I was greeted with doleful, patronizing, silly-old-man smiles. The few who did have home phones used Skype. One had a phone at home that was part of a triple-play offering from the local cable company. “Nobody uses it.” Adults are finding that they don’t need the lines in anywhere near the numbers they used to—and it can’t be chalked up simply to instant messaging displacing phone conversations and cell phones displacing housebound phones. The economy is playing its part, too.
The article also mentions that the economy is having an impact on phone sells.
But in the past year, a new and unexpected woe has been crushing the land-line business: the economy. In the past, a few quarters of slow growth wouldn’t have meant really bad news for basic telephony subscribers. The telephone at home has long been a utility, not a discretionary item.
Confronted with high inflation, soaring energy costs, and stagnant wages, millions of households are facing choices about which monthly bills to pay and which commitments to maintain. And if it comes down to one or the other, the mobile or the home-based land line, it’s clear which is a necessity and which is an option. One lets you make telephone calls only from your house. The other lets you make telephone calls from anywhere, send e-mails, surf the Internet, play music, and take photographs.
Right now I’m paying for my landline and cell phone services. And like I stated before I’m sticking with my landline phone service. I don’t use my cell phone on a regular basis like most folks. You won’t see my cell phone attached to my ear like a big ole piece of jewelry 😉
You can read the entire Newsweek article here.