U.S. Smartphones Sales Way Up; Standard Mobile Phone Sales Way Down

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There were 28 million mobile phones sold to consumers in the U.S. during the second quarter of this year, a 13% decline since the same period a year ago, according to market-research firm NPD Group.

But this decline doesn’t include smartphones. There were 5.3 million of these devices sold in the U.S. last quarter — nearly 20% of the total — up from just 2.9 million in the same period of 2007.

Smartphones typically cost more than standard phones, so it’s no surprise that the price people are paying for a phone is rising. The average selling price during Q2 was $84, an increase of 14% year-over-year.

More Feature Rich

Consumers may be paying more, but they are also getting more.

Handsets with a QWERTY keyboard saw a sharp year-over-year rise. Last quarter 28% of mobile phones included this feature, versus just 12 percent the year prior.

In addition, 81% of phones purchased were Bluetooth enabled, up from 69% in the previous year, and 65% of handsets could play music, versus 45% in the same quarter of 2007.

Results by Company

Motorola had a very bad quarter, and just barely managed to maintain its lead in the U.S. market. It had 32% of phone sales in Q2 of last year, while during the same period this year its share had dropped to just 21%.

All the other major device makers picked up market share that was lost by Motorola.

Second place was a tie between Samsung and LG with 20% of the U.S. consumer phone market each. Fourth place was held by Nokia with a 9% share, while RIM rounded out the top five with 7% of the market.

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