First quarter results for 2016 are in via ShareTracker’s patented wireless measurement. It shows a widening gap between net additions for voice devices and computing devices compared to the first quarter of the prior year.  Voice devices include both prepaid and postpaid handsets used for wireless calling while computing devices include such things as tablets and mi-fi hotspots that utilize wireless networks for internet connectivity.  As the chart below shows, net additions for voice devices were nearly identical to computing devices in the first quarter of last year while this year paints a different picture.

Interestingly, the data also show that computing net additions declined from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015.  This aligns with a report provided by the retail industry following the conclusion of the 2015 holiday season, which revealed that tablet sales were down year-over-year.  Since tablets can generate “easy” revenue from consumer data plans, it is a trend that wireless carriers will no doubt want to reverse.

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