Consumers who use a smartphone as their main phone value texting as much as making and receiving calls, a YouGov survey suggests.
More than a quarter (27pc) of people in Britain said making and receiving calls is the most important function their smartphone offers compared to 26pc who say texting is most important.
The use of apps and email are the next functions smartphone users value most on their handset. Fourteen per cent of survey respondents value apps as their smartphone’s most important function, 12pc said it was email, and 9pc deemed the ability to access social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, as the most important function on their smartphone.
Gender differences appear in the survey, too. More women (32pc) value texting more than men (20pc), but more men (18pc) value apps the most, compared to 10pc of women.
Young people aged 18-24 are more than three times as likely to value texting as a smartphone function (40pc), whereas people age 55 and over most value making and receiving calls (44pc) rather than texting (23pc). Twelve per cent of the young adults most value making and receiving calls.
When it comes to sending a message to a friend or relative, texting is the most popular method, with 82pc of respondents choosing this option, 7pc choosing email and 6pc apiece opting for Facebook, and forms of instant messenger (such as BlackBerry or MSN).
"Who could have predicted when mobile phones were first introduced that texting would become as important a part of our lives as making and receiving calls? This new data proves that texting is still thriving on smartphones and predictions of its decline due to new technologies such as instant messenger and social media were premature," said Santanu Nandi, executive vice-president of Firstsource Solutions, Telecom and Media division.
"Brands should consider texting as an important customer service channel. This should help them in delivering better customer experience by providing customer service-related updates through SMS."