Press Releases

RingCentral Survey Shows Generational Divide in Phone Behavior Since First Handheld Cellular Call Made 40 Years Ago 

41 Percent of People Under 40 Mainly use Mobile Phone for Work; 68 Percent of People Older Than 40 Still use the Phone Book

San Mateo, Calif. – April 3, 2013 – The year 1973 was a big one. And not just because the Watergate scandal was in full swing, the Concorde cut flying time in half or that Stevie Wonder topped the charts. It was also the year when the first handheld cellular telephone call was made on April 3, 1973 by Martin Cooper in New York City.

Fast forward 40 years and a recent survey by RingCentral, Inc., a leading cloud business communications provider, shows how much phone behavior has changed. The survey1 of 1,856 working professionals reveals the latest stats on mobile phone usage in the workplace and the generational divide in phone behavior.

At work, mobile phone usage continues to rise:

  • 70 percent of people use mobile phones to communicate for work.
  • 35 percent mainly use their mobile phone, not their desk phone, for work.
  • 47 percent use their own personal mobile phone for work while 24 percent use a company issued mobile phone.
  • 79 percent text for business with 32 percent closing a business deal via text2.

Age 40 divides mobile natives from those born in a pre-mobile era:  

  • 41 percent of people under 40 mainly use their mobile phones to make work calls vs. 32 percent of people older than 40.
  • 60 percent of people older than 40 still have a traditional home phone while 70 percent under 40 use their mobile phone as their home phone.
  • 68 percent of people older than 40 still use the printed phone book while 63 percent under 40 never use the phone book, under any circumstances.

“April 3, 1973 was not just the beginning of cellular handheld communications but it was the start of a new era of work behavior,” said Nisha Ahluwalia, RingCentral’s vice president of product marketing. “Our survey shows just how much BYOD is transforming today’s work culture. Yet, there’s still an interesting generational divide in behavior based on whether or not your were born in a pre or post mobile era.” 

For more stats, view the infographic on the RingCentral blog at:

Survey Sources:
1 Primary Survey: The RingCentral survey was conducted online via SurveyMonkey, an independent survey firm, to 1,856 working professionals in North America between the ages of 18 and 65. The survey was conducted between Feb. 15 – 22, 2013.
Secondary Survey: The RingCentral survey was conducted in December 2012 to 1,107 adults in North America.

About RingCentral
RingCentral is a leading provider of cloud business phone systems designed for today's mobile and distributed workforce. By combining a hosted, multi-extension business phone system with advanced voice and fax functionality, RingCentral delivers ease of use, flexibility and mobility, which cannot be provided by complex and expensive on-premise legacy phone systems. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, RingCentral is privately held with backing from Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, Cisco, Scale Ventures, and DAG Ventures. For more information on RingCentral products, call 1-877-268-2403 or by visit

For additional information,
please contact:

RingCentral Contact:
Mariana Kosturos