Mint Mobile, the low-cost wireless carrier, has released its 2019 smartphone predictions.

Mint’s 2019 outlook is based on a combination of proprietary and industry insights from millions of consumers. The predictions range from smartphone plan pricing to consumption habits to new technologies being adopted worldwide.

The Mint Mobile analytics team predicts the following trends for 2019:

Data consumption will continue to grow, moving to 6.5GB per month.
Mint Mobile expects average cellular data consumption to move from its current 5GB/month to 6.5GB/month in 2019, according to the company’s data.

Within Mint Mobile’s customer base, the average data usage per day has increased 35 percent, growing from 49 MB per subscriber in December 2017 to 66 MB per subscriber in December 2018. 

Industry-wide, data consumption has been increasing year over year as consumers spend hours on social media apps, streaming videos and playing games.

Consumers will continue to text vs. call, especially in the afternoon.
In the United States, the most popular period for texting is between 2 and 3 p.m. Pacific Time. Text message usage increases dramatically at Noon, peaks from 2 – 3 p.m. and then falls off by 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

With apps like Viber, WeChat and Facebook Messenger continuing to grow in popularity, text-based communications will only get stronger in 2019. In contrast, talking on the phone will continue to decline. Mint Mobile found that their average customer only speaks with two callers per day for an average of 11 minutes.

Unlocked phones will be the shining star when it comes to growth in the device category.
Currently, unlocked phones account for 15 percent of the market or an estimated 38 million consumers. This number represents a significant increase of 27 percent from the year before, according to NPD Connected Intelligence.

While there is not yet research to predict exact 2019 unlocked device numbers, Mint Mobile predicts that more consumers will purchase unlocked phones or hold onto their existing unlocked phones in 2019. Consumers prefer the flexibility of not being locked into one carrier’s contract.

Electronic SIM cards (eSIM) will have widespread adoption in 2019. 
eSIM cards are gradually rolling out within many new devices including Apple, Samsung and Google Pixel. This technology is a game changer for the wireless industry, as most current devices rely on physical SIM cards that a consumer must pop in and out to transfer to a low-cost wireless plan. However, with an eSIM card, there’s no need to change SIM cards, which makes choosing a new plan seamless.

Since launching in 2016, Mint Mobile has experienced exponential growth, with 400 percent subscriber growth in its first year, which doubled in size in 2017 and 2018. November was Mint Mobile’s strongest month in the company’s history, and December is on target to surpass November’s record.