60 million U.S. consumers may cut down on their cellphone usage

Chicago (IL) – The recessions may soon be impacting cellphone usage as a new survey suggests that two out of five Americans with contract-based cellphones are thinking about cutting down on their cellphone expenses.

According to a survey of 2005 Americans conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) for the New Millennium Research Council (NMRC), 39% or about 60.3 million consumers will try to cut their mobile phone expenses if the economy gets worse over the next six months.

Contracts are the most likely targets as 26% of consumers with contract-based cell phone service “more inclined today than … six months ago to look at a way to save money on your cell phone bill, such as by switching to a prepaid cell phone service.” Income, race and age strongly affected the answer as this group includes 38% of those in households making $35,000 a year or less, 32% of African Americans and 30% of those aged 18-34.
A big chunk of the cutback portion could be extras such as Internet connectivity, email and texting. ORC found that 19 million Americans have “considered cutting back” (5%) or actually “have cut back” (15%) on such features “in the last six months because of actual job loss, fear of job loss, the recession, or any other related financial concerns.” More than two out of five cell phone users with extras on their phones (41%) say it is “very” (19%) or “somewhat” (21%) likely that they will cut back on cell phone extras “if the economy gets worse in the next six months.”