updated 02:40 pm EDT, Thu August 20, 2009
NPD Smartphone Split
Smartphones now represent more than a quarter of all cellphones sold in the US, the NPD Group has revealed in findings on Wednesday. Shipments of the devices jumped by almost half, or 47 percent, year over year in to where they represented 28 percent of all phones in the country this spring. The shift helped push the average price of a phone up $4 to $87.
The top sellers among smartphones during the season were Apple's iPhone 3G and RIM's BlackBerry Curve series. Among simpler feature phones, the LG enV2 for Verizon and the Samsung Rant for Sprint were the most popular.
While specific numbers aren't available, smartphones have also had a tangible impact on the feature sets of US phones. About 26 percent of phones shipped had touchscreens. The use of Wi-Fi has also more than tripled compared to a year ago and is incorporated into exactly one fifth (20 percent) of all phones regardless of type.
NPD researchers didn't set expectations for the future of phone technology, but most industry observers expect smartphones to be a more regular staple of the American market as their prices lower and both the hardware and software provide a better experience. The $99 iPhone 3G is often thought to have a particularly large impact on the smartphone business by discouraging expensive non-smartphones as well as triggering price cuts at Verizon on the more advanced hardware.