143 Million Wireless Phones sold in US last year
Mobile phone sales to consumers in the U.S. reached 143 million units in 2006 according to The NPD Group.
Q4 2006 sales, the biggest sales quarter last year, were 14 percent higher than the same period the year prior. NPD estimates total 2006 consumer sales of $8.8 billion, after rebates and promotions.
According to NPD's Mobile Phone Track, Motorola continued its dominance of both subscriber share and new phone sales in the U.S. market during the year, boosting its share of new phone sales sequentially from 29 percent to 33 percent as it continued to ride the success of its popular RAZR models. While Nokia ranked third overall for the full year, their share of subscribers and new sales demonstrated a steady downward trend. Nokia ranked fourth in new sales in Q4 as Samsung improved its competitive position.
Following is the breakdown of top four manufacturers' share of new handset sales in 2006:
Verizon and Cingular/AT&T continued to battle for the top spot in both subscriber share and share of new phone sales. In 2006, Cingular/AT&T comprised 27 percent of all subscribers and 27 percent of all new phone sales.
Verizon also comprised 27 percent of all subscribers, but only 23 percent of new phone sales.
Other 2006 findings from NPD include the following:
- Sales of music-enabled devices have increased significantly within the last year, from 18 percent during the second quarter of 2006 to 32 percent during the fourth quarter.
- Coupled with the growth in music capable phones, devices that support removable memory sales grew from just 6% in Q1 to 21% in Q4.
- The percentage of mobile phones sold with Bluetooth capability has also increased significantly in the last year, from 31 percent in Q1 2006 to nearly half (49 percent) of all phones sold in Q4.
- Camera phones continue to be popular among consumers. Two-thirds of all devices sold in Q4 2006 included a camera.