updated 12:05 pm EST, Mon November 14, 2011
Drop-off before iPhone 4S has no effect
The iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS held on as the US' bestselling smartphones during the third quarter of 2011, according to new NPD Group data. Following behind in the top five were two Android-based phones -- the HTC EVO 4G and the Motorola Droid 3 -- as well as the Samsung Intensity II, which NPD classifies as a smartphone even though the device is more basic than most. The updated top phone list is almost identical to one for Q2, the only difference being the Droid 3 replacing the HTC Inspire 4G.
Apple's hold on the market is notable for several reasons, among them being the ages of the phones involved. The iPhone 4 dates back to June 2010, while the 3GS is older still, having launched in 2009. Q3 was also the last quarter before the arrival of the iPhone 4S, a period during which iPhone sales should in theory have been falling as people waited for a new model to arrive.
The NPD Group adds that 59 percent of Q3 handsets were smartphones, up 13 percent from the same quarter last year. The average selling price for smartphones has meanwhile been declining for a full year, and now sits at $135. Of people who were considering a phone in the $200-250 price range during Q3, 64 percent ended up buying a device costing less than $200. The rate of accessory sales has remained unchanged.