In a high-tech shift accelerated by the recession, the number of U.S. households opting for only cell phones has for the first time surpassed those that just have traditional landlines, reports the Associated Press. Twenty percent of households had only cells during the last half of 2008, compared to 17 percent with landlines but no cells, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey released May 6. That ratio has changed starkly in recent years: In the first six months of 2003, just 3 percent of households were wireless only, while 43 percent had only landlines. Stephen Blumberg, senior scientist at the CDC and an author of the report, attributed the growing number of cell-only households in part to a recession that has forced many families to scour their budgets for savings. People who live in homes that have only wireless service tend to be disproportionately low-income, young, renters, and Hispanics. Six in 10 households have both landlines and cell phones. Even so, industry analysts emphasized the public’s growing love affair with the versatility of cell phones, which can perform functions like receiving text messages and are also mobile. "The end game is consumers are paying two bills for the same service," said John Fletcher, an analyst for the market research firm SNL Kagan. "Which are they going to choose? They’ll choose the one they can take with them in their car."

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