Verizon’s iPhone Sales Help Make Apple the Third-Largest Mobile Phone Brand in the U.S.

Samsung and LG remained the top handset manufacturers for the U.S. market, but Apple’s share grew to encompass 14 percent in the first quarter, due to its best-selling iPhone models.

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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.

Port Washington, New York (PRWEB) April 28, 2011

According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, in the first quarter (Q1) of this year Apple’s mobile phone sales reached 14 percent of the U.S. market. Apple outranked HTC, Motorola and RIM as the third-largest handset brand in the U.S., 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 U.S., 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 U.S. 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 U.S. market leaders Samsung and LG will be tied to their success in the smartphone market.”

Data Note: The information in this press release is from Mobile Phone Track – NPD’s consumer tracking of U.S. consumers, aged 18 and older, who reported purchasing a mobile phone. NPD does not track corporate/enterprise mobile phone purchases.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit http://www.npd.com/ and http://www.npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdtech and @npdgroup.

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