1 out of 4 U.S. Immigrant Smartphone Owners Use PC or Mobile Video Calling, According to New Survey from Rebtel

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Survey shows an estimated five million consumers are bypassing international calling fees by using video calling services like Skype to stay in touch with families and friends abroad

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“Skype is the clear leader when it comes it comes to the preferred method of how U.S. immigrant and first generation Americans choose to make video calls,” said Andreas Bernstrom, CEO of Rebtel.

Rebtel, the world's second largest mobile VoIP company after Skype, today announced results from its latest study based on U.S. immigrant and first-generation consumer mobile usage and behavior. The results were based on 1,340 responses from immigrants residing in the United States, which represent a consumer segment of approximately 38 million consumers. According to the survey, 24% of those who responded to owning a smartphone have used a video calling service on either their PC or mobile phone, representing approximately five million Americans.

According to survey respondents, the vast majority of them preferred Skype as their video application of choice, with approximately 47% of claiming it as the app they most use. Facetime and Yahoo! Messenger came in second and third place, representing nearly 14% of users, followed by Tango at 8%.

The Oprah effect?

Comparing male to female responses, Skype was an overwhelming favorite of among women with 74% claiming to use the application, whereas only 42% of men preferred Skype. Rebtel believes Skype may have benefitted from an Oprah-bump as the television show now integrates Skype into the show experience for live interviews.

Here’s a breakdown of the different sex percentages:

Males:

Skype 42%
Facetime 15%
Yahoo! Messenger 14%
Tango 9%
Other 20%

Females:

Skype 74%
Facetime 7%
Yahoo! Messenger 13%
Tango 3%
Other 3%

In terms of whether those polled would be willing to pay a monthly fee to make video calls, 21% answered yes, with 79% saying they would not be willing to pay a fee. Men were approximately 1.5x as likely to pay a fee than women, with 22% of males and only 14% of females claiming they would be willing to do so.

Out of the immigrants in the study hailing from Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines and UK currently residing in the US, all segments ranked Skype as their preferred video calling application of choice.

“Skype is the clear leader when it comes it comes to the preferred method of how U.S. immigrant and first generation Americans choose to make video calls,” said Andreas Bernstrom, CEO of Rebtel. “Facetime, and Yahoo! Messenger not only have some serious catching up to do, but they’ll have to be much more aggressive if they truly want to distance themselves from other competing services like Tango, which appear to be closing ground quickly.”

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, there are 37.9 million immigrants (both legal and illegal) in the U.S. 10.8 million of those are illegal. The study was conducted in November 2010 with a sample group of respondents comprised of Rebtel users divided into 11 different ethnic groups; Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines and UK. Each ethnic group received their own identical survey and all the respondents are currently located in the US.

About Rebtel

Rebtel is the world’s largest independent mobile VoIP company. Rebtel customers can use any phone in more than 50 countries to call anywhere in the world for just pennies per minute or for free between the 50 Rebtel countries. There are no monthly fees, no connection fees, or hidden costs to use Rebtel. For more information, or to start using Rebtel, go to http://www.rebtel.com.

Contact:

Eric Gonzalez
VSC PR for Rebtel
415-272-0836

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