NPD: Apple iPhone 3G is #1 smartphone in U.S.; AT&T big beneficiary

According to a new report from The NPD Group, the leader in market research for the wireless industry, 30 percent of U.S. consumers who purchased Apple’s new iPhone 3G from June through August 2008 switched from other mobile carriers to join AT&T, the exclusive mobile carrier for the iPhone in the U.S. By way of comparison just 23 percent of consumers, on average, switched carriers between June and August 2008. Nearly half (47 percent) of new AT&T iPhone customers that switched carriers switched from Verizon Wireless, another 24 percent switched from T-Mobile, and 19 percent switched from Sprint.

“The launch of the lower-priced iPhone 3G was a boon to overall consumer smartphone sales,” according to Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for The NPD Group, in the press release. “While the original iPhone also helped win customers for AT&T, the faster network speeds of the iPhone 3G has proven more appealing to customers that already had access to a 3G network.”

According to NPD’s “iPhone 3G Report,” before the launch of the iPhone 3G, iPhone sales represented 11 percent of the consumer market for smartphones (January through May 2008, as in-the-know consumers awaited the next-gen iPhone); however, after the launch of iPhone 3G, Apple commanded 17 percent of the smartphone market (January through August 2008).

The average price of a smartphone sold between June and August 2008 was $174, down 26 percent from $236 during the same period last year. During June through August 2008, the top four best-selling smartphones based on unit-sales to consumers were as follows:
1. Apple iPhone 3G
2. RIM Blackberry Curve
3. RIM Blackberry Pearl
4. Palm Centro

The NPD Group compiles and analyzes mobile device sales data based on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each month. Surveys are based on a nationally balanced and demographically-representative sample, and results are projected to represent the entire population of U.S. consumers. Note: Sales figures do not include corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales. For more information about NPD’s offerings in this business sector, visit

Source: The NPD Group, Inc.

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” – Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, April 30, 2007

Microsoft CEO Ballmer laughs at Apple iPhone (January 17, 2007):


  1. It is this kind of PR that Apple should use to help the repeated attacks on their stock value. Apple can talk about things like this in 2 weeks at the yearly report. However, the investor’s stock value will be halved again by then!

  2. It would be interesting if NPD included corporate users. That’s all MS and RIM really give 2 s**ts about, despite their recent crowing about prosumers.

    To state that the iPhone is the number 1 smart phone among consumers is, IMO, quite obvious, although it’s nice to see actual data.

  3. i don’t know if my AAPL shares can take much more good news…..

    thank god for the crash of 7 years of right wing deregulation.

    come on Steve, make some good announcements. i was gonna sell my stock to buy a new desktop/laptop combo! i need both! just make the big announcement and drive the stock back up so i can buy more or your stuff!

    (think that is incentive?)

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