Text messaging is HUGE in Asia and in Europe. Not much so in the US, although the kids are catching up. I remember my first month in the US, being from Asia, sending lots of SMSes to my colleagues and friends but never getting any replies. After a while I realized that most americans survive on email, that's why Blackberry is so huge here. I believe for quick messaging, nothing beats SMS. On top of that, you can actually send / receive SMS while you're using the main channel for Voice or Data.
Back to the main discussion, Ang Chuang Yang from Singapore is the (currently unofficial) World Record holder for typing 160 characters using a 12key, phone keypad WITHOUT using T9s predictive text, in 42 seconds. A whole 24 seconds faster than the current World Champion Karan Sachdev from India.
Here's the sentence if you want to time yourself :
"The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”
You're HOSED if you use T9 Predictive text for such a sentence. Here are my attempts using four input methods:
Full Sized Laptop Keyboard : 21 secs
QWERTY T-Mobile Dash : 51 secs
HTC Breeze 12 key : 110secs *gasp*
HTC Breeze with T9 : 76 secs
*doh* How fast can you type?