Smartphone Sales Up 47% In Q2

    August 19, 2009

In terms of sales of mobile phones in the U.S. feature phones still account for a considerable share of the market, even as smartphone sales continue to increase their share of overall handset sales, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

Sales of new feature phones decreased 5 percent to 72 percent of new handset sales in the second quarter, while sales of new smartphones reached 28 percent of overall purchases, a 47 percent increase year-over-year.

Ross Rubin, Director of Industry Analysis, The NPD Group
Ross Rubin
Director of
Industry Analysis
The NPD Group

"Despite their ties to pricey data plans, the rich Internet access capabilities of smartphones are attracting consumers wooed by lower device prices," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at The NPD Group.

Overall handset sales volume in the U.S. grew 14 percent year-over-year in Q2, as sales revenue increased 18 percent. The average selling price of all mobile phones increased 4 percent reaching $87. The LG enV2 and the Samsung Rant were the most popular feature phone in terms of sales, while the iPhone 3G and Blackberry Curve were the top selling smartphones.

Wi-Fi capability increased three-fold since last year, with 20 percent of all new handsets equipped with it. Touch screens on both feature phones and smartphones have also seen significant growth since last year, with 26 percent of all new handsets purchased in Q2 including this feature; physical QWERTY keyboards by comparison, were available in 35 percent of handsets sold.

"Feature phones are taking on more of the physical characteristics of smartphones, and often offer greater exposure to carrier services," Rubin said.

"Although their user interfaces continue to improve, the depth of their applications generally lags behind those of smartphones. With the price gap between smartphones and feature phones narrowing, to remain competitive feature phones need to develop a better Web experience, drive utility via widgets, and sidestep the applications arms race."