Aging iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS still best-selling phones in Q3

Despite the huge variety of new smartphones released since the previous two generations of iPhone were first unveiled, Apple’s devices still managed to top the list of best-selling phones in the U.S. last quarter. According to new data released by market research firm The NPD Group on Monday, Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS were the No.1 and 2 top-selling handsets in the U.S. during the third quarter this year. The iPhone 4, available from Verizon Wireless and AT&T during the quarter, was first launched in June 2010 while the iPhone 3GS was released more than two years ago in June 2009, and was sold by only one carrier in the U.S. last quarter. According to NPD’s data, Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G was the No.3 best-selling cell phone in the U.S. during the third quarter, followed by the Motorola DROID 3 and the Samsung Intensity II. The NPD Group’s full press release follows below.

As Smartphone Prices Fall, Retailers Are Leaving Money on the Table, According to The NPD Group

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, November 14, 2011 – According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, the share of mobile phone handset sales that are smartphones continues to climb. The share of U.S. mobile handset sales that were smartphones reached 59 percent in the third quarter (Q3) of 2011, an increase of 13 percentage points since Q3 of 2010. Based on the latest data from NPD’s monthly Mobile Phone Track service, average selling prices for smartphones have declined for four consecutive quarters, reaching $135 in Q3.

According to NPD’s new Smartphone Track service, prices are falling even though many consumers originally considered paying more. Among U.S. consumers who considered purchasing phones in the $200 to $250 price range, 64 percent ended up purchasing a phone for less than $200. Led by continued steady sales for Apple’s iPhones, the top five best-selling mobile phone handsets in Q3 were as follows:

  1. Apple iPhone 4
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. Motorola Droid 3
  5. Samsung Intensity II

“Even as smartphone prices continue to decline, the accessory attachment rates for smartphones in Q3 was unchanged since last year,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD. “This indicates further opportunity for retailers to improve revenue numbers by focusing marketing efforts on selling more accessories.” The top U.S. mobile accessories brands in Q3 were Zagg, Otter Products, Just Wireless, Motorola, and Incase Designs.

Information this press release is from “Mobile Phone Track” and “Smartphone Track,” both of which report on the activities of U.S. consumers, age 18 and older, who reported purchasing a mobile phone or smartphone. NPD does not track corporate/enterprise mobile phone purchases.

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