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Phone sales decline, BlackBerry makes gains

updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon May 19, 2008

Phone sales in decline

A failing economy is beginning to have serious impact on the US cellphone market, says the NPD Group. For the first time since it began recording such figures, NPD writes that sales dropped in the first quarter of 2008 to 31 million, a decline of 22 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. There has also been a substantial shift in marketshare, with Chicago-based Motorola continuing to dominate other companies, but slipping from a control of 35 percent to 27.

Notable is that smartphones claimed a larger portion of sales at 17 percent, versus just 7 in Q1 2007. This in turn contributed to increased success for Research in Motion, whose BlackBerry phones pushed it into the top five of manufacturers at 5 percent, displacing Sanyo. Samsung, LG and Nokia took the middle positions in the list; Apple and the iPhone, despite considerable publicity, did not rank.

By Electronista Staff


  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Don't these people know it has nothing to do with the economy? Any slowdown in phone sales is completely correlated to the anticipated release of iPhone v2.0 (of course, one would argue that sales should have stalled last year, after iPhone 1.0 was announced, but I'm sure people were just buying new phones to hold them over because everyone knows to stay away from a v1.0 product).

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002


    Foreign markets...

    ...may be the story of 2008 & iPhone 2.0...

  1. dougoftheabaci

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2008



    It takes me 5 seconds to speculate and realise exactly why sales might be down.

    1. The release of a new iPhone has been confirmed on multiple fronts and has been expected for the last month or two. People are waiting while those who didn't want an iPhone anyway are still buying. One stops while the other continues thus market share shifts.

    2. They've run out of iPhones in quite a few locations. Thus even those who would buy can't. A friend of mine works at a major Apple store in DC. No iPhones for coming up on a month. Wonder if that would slow sales at the store?

    This isn't news. It's the journalistic equivalent of reporting the ground is wet after it's rained.

  1. EvilMole

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2008



    This is for the first quarter of the year (Jan/Feb/March). There were no iPhone shortages in those months, doug, so your second point isn't correct.

    As for the first one... again, this time period is too early for it to have any serious effect on demand.

    iPhone has done well, but it simply doesn't dominate the market in the way that some Apple fans think.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    No no.

    You guys have it all wrong. Sales are down because the consumer is holding off for the 3rd generation iPhone due in October. This one will have a touchscreen where the bottom 40% permanently looks and feels like a traditional qwerty keyboard.

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