The top two best-selling U.S. mobile phones in Q311: Apple iPhone 4 and Apple iPhone 3GS

According to The NPD Group, the share of mobile phone handset sales that are smartphones continues to climb. The share of U.S. mobile handset sales that were smartphones reached 59 percent in the third quarter (Q3) of 2011, an increase of 13 percentage points since Q3 of 2010. Based on the latest data from NPD’s monthly Mobile Phone Track service, average selling prices for smartphones have declined for four consecutive quarters, reaching $135 in Q3.

According to NPD’s new Smartphone Track service, prices are falling even though many consumers originally considered paying more. Among U.S. consumers who considered purchasing phones in the $200 to $250 price range, 64 percent ended up purchasing a phone for less than $200. Led by continued steady sales for Apple’s iPhones, the top five best-selling mobile phone handsets in Q3 were as follows:

1. Apple iPhone 4
2. Apple iPhone 3GS
4. Motorola Droid 3
5. Samsung Intensity II

“Even as smartphone prices continue to decline, the accessory attachment rates for smartphones in Q3 was unchanged since last year,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, in the press release. “This indicates further opportunity for retailers to improve revenue numbers by focusing marketing efforts on selling more accessories.” The top U.S. mobile accessories brands in Q3 were Zagg, Otter Products, Just Wireless, Motorola, and Incase Designs.

This information is from “Mobile Phone Track” and “Smartphone Track,” both of which report on the activities of U.S. consumers, age 18 and older, who reported purchasing a mobile phone or smartphone. NPD does not track corporate/enterprise mobile phone purchases.

Source: The NPD Group, Inc.


  1. I’m surprised the 3GS is selling as well as it is. I have friends who own the 3GS from when it was first released two and a half years ago. I didn’t think it was that impressive when they showed it to me and still don’t think much of it now, mirroring my thoughts in the 4S. A repeated iteration means a B in effort. Must try harder.

    1. To Ballmer’s left nut:
      Do you feel obliged to post comments at virtually every topic?
      Are you perhaps being paid to be a troll?

      Or do you simply have a low IQ and no job?

          1. What was implied in the question was why does he care what I do with my time? Is he paying my bonuses from the job I do? The answer is he doesn’t know sh*t and is only lobbing silly statements out on the Internet.

            1. No one would care what you do with your time if it wasn’t spent infesting this site. You’re like an incurable toenail fungus. Seriously.

    2. The reason Apple switched to the “S” iteration which is basically a smaller update instead of a full redesign is because they have the customer in mind.

      The fact is, both the 3GS and 4S are significantly faster than their respective predecessors. On top of this, Apple knows that most carriers restrict customers with a 2 year contract. By releasing major updates every other year, and great internal improvements in between they make sure no one feels left out. Those with a 4 that complain that the 4S is too similar for them to upgrade… THATS THE POINT. Besides, many are on a 2 year contract, and can’t even update.

      The 4S is basically for those who had a 3GS on a 2 year contract.

      The 4 was for those who had the 3G on a 2 year contact.

      So, the people who get mad at apple for not externally redesigning their phones constantly need to realize that there is a reason and purpose behind this. Furthermore, the internal improvements are more than good enough. 2x the processing power, 7x the graphical capabilities, 2x the memory (now with a 64 GB max) and a better camera to boot.

      So, those who diss the “S” versions, realize that because of the 2 year contracts and apple’s (usually) 1 year cycle for phone releases, there will continue to be iPhone # and iPhone #S released every other year.

      1. I had a 3GS (still have it, not sure what to do with it yet), just upgraded to a 4S, and you are bang on. With the exception that we’re on consumer-hostile 3-year contracts in Canada.

        Funny enough, the camera is the biggest reason I like my new 4S. Siri is still location-hobbled in Canada so it’s hard to demo to others (worse, by the time it works in Canada Android models will probably have copied its features so no one here will think Apple did it first, or at least did it well first). But the new camera is awesome in low-light. Except for optical image stabilization and optical zoom, my 4S completely replaces my 3-year old Canon P&S and fits comfortably in my pocket at the same time.

    3. Ahh! The “alter ego” BLN comes out to post. Since you are not a registered name, I wonder if there are multiple BLNs with different agendas.

      The intelligence of anyone who doubts that the 3GS was a breakthrough device is suspect, IMO. It took two years for anyone else to come close to it. In the electronics world, that is two lifetimes. If you doubt that, go buy a 2009 Windows PC with the Vista OS.

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