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U.S. Mobile Spending Has Quadrupled Since 2001

U.S. Mobile Spending Has Quadrupled Since 2001

Chart: Introduction of Smartphones Led to a 50% Increase in Cell Phone Bills

October 28, 2014

While it’s impossible to deny that cell phones and other mobile devices have established themselves firmly in our lives, few people question the degree of this integration.

In other words: We know we’ve become attached to our smart devices, but do we know exactly how much our increasing obsession is costing us?


The Numbers

According to a chart based on Labor Department data (and compiled by the experts at Business Insider*), average annual U.S. household spending on cell phone bills has grown by more than four times in the past 13 years.

In 2001, the annual cell phone bill per household began at roughly $210 on average, and this number consistently increased each year by about $70 until 2007. By then, the average cell phone bill per household was about $608 – and the advent of smartphones only added fuel to the fire.

With the release of Apple’s revolutionary iPhone and Google’s Android operating system for mobile devices, device spending continued its ascent, up to an average of $913 last year (and what’s more, a fifth of those households spent more than $1,400).*

Below, a Business Insider chart demonstrates the increase in annual cell phone bill charges in U.S. households.

Business Insider Avg Annual US Cellphone Bills


Looking Ahead

As growth trends have remained consistent over the past decade, they’re expected to continue their steady increase.

This is especially true as the wireless industry continues to push advancements, such as growth in the LTE device market as well as increased wireless coverage nationwide.

It’s ultimately a self-serving practice, as more mobile data usage (whether through new applications or innovations) contributes to more growth in sales.


* Smith, Dave. CHART OF THE DAY: Cell Phone Bills Are Up 50% Since The iPhone Was Invented, BI Intelligence. Business Insider, Inc.

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