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NPD says US smartphone sales up 84 percent this year, iPhone is number 2
      #31319 - 09/08/08 03:45 PM

NPD, one of the larger stats companies says US smartphone sales are hopping (at least something is, in this sad economy) and a lot of that has to do with brisk iPhone sales. Keep in mind for these stats, NPD has polled consumers and not corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales who tend to buy lots and lots of Windows Mobile and RIM devices.

Here's the press release:


Apple leaps to second among smartphone manufacturers, with the release of the iPhone 3G

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 8, 2008 -- According to The NPD Group, the leader in market research for the wireless industry, consumer sales of smartphones to U.S. consumers reached 9 million units from January through July 2008 versus the same time period last year -- a year-over-year increase of 84 percent. Even as overall handset sales and revenues declined in the U.S., smartphone revenue increased 71 percent -- reaching nearly $1.7 billion. With the launch of Apple's iPhone 3G in July 2008, Apple leapt to second in smartphone unit sales, behind RIM.

As a percentage of overall handset sales to consumers in the U.S. from January through July 2008, smartphones represented 19 percent of all handset purchases compared to just 9 percent for the same period last year. "Declining prices, streamlined form factors, and consumer Internet connectivity have begun to bring into the mainstream devices that once appealed only to mobile professionals," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis, The NPD Group.

The average price of a smartphone sold between January and July 2008 was $185, down 7 percent from $199 during the same period last year. "As they become inexpensive gateways to the Internet from practically anywhere, smartphones are delivering a better consumer value than ever before; however, more must be done to show the advantages of their operating systems to keep them ahead of increasingly sophisticated feature phones," Rubin said.

Even as the market reacted to the launch of Apple's iPhone 3G in July, RIM and Palm both saw consumer unit-sales gains against the competition in the first seven months of 2008 - posting growth of 24 percent and 9 percent (respectively). The consumer unit- sales ranking of smartphone manufacturers is as follows:

1. RIM
2. Apple
3. Palm
4. Samsung
5. Motorola

"Leading smartphone manufacturers have adopted a variety of software platforms. With advances such as the iPhone SDK, the arrival of Google's Android platform, and the open-source path of Symbian," Rubin said. "Competition stands to intensify for the attention of developers delivering the next great wireless application."

Methodology: The NPD Group compiles and analyzes mobile device sales data based on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each month. Surveys are based on a nationally balanced and demographically-representative sample, and results are projected to represent the entire population of U.S. consumers. Note: Sales figures do not include corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales.


Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview

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