Smartphones outsold ordinary handsets for the first time ever in the United States in the opening quarter of this year, it has been revealed. More than 50 per cent of the cell phones sold in the first quarter of 2011 were smartphones rather than the traditional handset variety, with Samsung the big player in the US market with a 23 per cent share, according to research firm the NPD Group.
“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,” says the executive director of the NPD Group, Ross Rubin. “While some of that growth came at the expense of the Android operating system, Android models still accounted for half of all smart-phones sold in the quarter.”
The new survey of customers over 18 years of age in the United States conducted by the company suggests that Android based cell phone sales still account for 50 per cent of the market even with a slight downfall in sales, while sales of the Apple iPhone rose by nine per cent. “The rise of Apple and HTC show how companies can drive change in a mature device market to change the rules of the game”, Rubin points out, adding that in his opinion “The overall success of US market leaders Samsung and LG will be tied to their success in the smartphone market.”
One reason for the growing popularity of smartphones seems to be their increased affordability in comparison to old cell phones, research suggests.