Verizon Boosts Apple to the 3rd-Largest Mobile Phone Brand in the USA
Apple's mobile phone sales reached 14 percent of the USA market in the first quarter of this year, according to the NPD Group. Apple outranked HTC, Motorola and RIM as the third-largest handset brand in the USA, behind Samsung at 23 percent and LG at 18 percent.
After launching on Verizon's network in February, Apple's iPhone 4 further solidified its position as the top-selling mobile phone in the USA, while iPhone 3GS, Motorola Droid X, HTC EVO 4G, and HTC Droid Incredible rounded out NPD's top-five mobile phone handset ranking. Unit sales of smartphones increased 8 percent in Q1 compared to the previous quarter; however, total handset unit sales fell 1 percent.
"Apple and Verizon had a very successful launch of the iPhone 4, which
allowed the iPhone to expand its market share that was previously held back by
its prolonged carrier exclusivity with AT&T," said Ross Rubin,
executive director of industry analysis at NPD. "While some of that growth
came at the expense of Android operating system (OS), Android models still
accounted for half of all smartphones sold in the quarter."
Smartphones Take the Lead in Overall Handset Sales
According to NPD's "Mobile Phone Track" consumer tracking service, for the first time a majority (54 percent) of all new mobile-phone handsets purchased by USA consumers were smartphones. Driven by increases in smartphone sales in Q1 2011, average selling prices for all mobile phones rose 2 percent over the previous quarter to reach $102; however, average prices for smartphones actually declined by 3 percent (falling to $145).
The Android OS lost ground for the first time since Q2 2009, falling to 50 percent of smartphone unit sales in Q1 2011 compared to 53 percent in the prior quarter. Apple iOS share rose 9 percentage points to comprise 28 percent of smartphone unit sales. BlackBerry OS also lost ground, falling 5 points, to 14 percent.
"The rise of Apple and HTC show how companies can drive change in a mature device market to change the rules of the game," said Rubin. "The overall success of USA market leaders Samsung and LG will be tied to their success in the smartphone market."