Finland might be the spiritual home
of the SMS, but it also proves that this ancient form of communication is going the way of the rune stone. A mere 8.5 million texts were sent over the country's Sonera network on Christmas Eve, versus 10.9 million on that festive day in 2010. The same trend was spotted on other Finnish networks and also on the other side of the world: Christmas Day texts in Hong Kong were down nearly 14 percent on the year before, and Telstra in Australia experienced a nine percent year-on-year decline over the whole of 2011. Things are different in America, where texting has continued to grow, but that growth seems to be slowing down and some analysts expect "SMS erosion" to hit Verizon and AT&T by 2014. The obvious culprit is mobile internet: social networking
and a host of other 'free' options
, but you won't find carriers complaining -- data contract ARPUs
suit them just fine.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.