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Consumer Confidential: Wireless devices, rich shoppers, stroller recall

October 11, 2011 | 10:57 am

Here's your be-true-to-your-school Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- You know how New Zealand is supposed to have more sheep than people? Well, there are now more wireless devices being used in the United States than there are Americans, and we've doubled the amount of Internet data traffic we generate on smartphones, according to the trade group CTIA. The number of mobile devices rose 9% in the first six months of 2011 to 327.6 million -- more than the 315 million people living in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wireless network data traffic rose 111% during the same period. How is this possible? Many adults have more than one wireless device. Beam me up, Scotty.

-- At least someone is shopping. Wealthy families with discretionary income of at least $250,000 plan to boost holiday shopping by 7% from last year to an average $2,708, according to a survey by Hanson Group and American Express. Those pulling down less than a quarter-million bucks plan to scale back their purchases, the survey finds. But the rich are clearly feeling flush. Maybe they'll want a few more wireless devices.

-- Heads up: Hundreds of thousands of popular B.O.B. jogging strollers are being recalled because of choking concerns. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the backing on an embroidered logo patch on the stroller's canopy can come loose. CPSC says the firm has received six reports of children mouthing a detached patch backing. Two cases involved choking and gagging. Consumers need to remove the patch before they can use the stroller. The recall involves more than 411,000 single and double jogging strollers in the United States and 27,000 in Canada.

-- David Lazarus

Photo: The ubiquity of cellphones means there are now more wireless devices in the U.S. than people. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times