updated 11:40 am EST, Tue February 19, 2008
NPD US Phone Sales 2007
US phone sales over the course of 2007 grew substantially and saw the iPhone register a significant percentage all by itself, according to new data from The NPD Group. With roughly 146 million phones trading hands over the period, Apple's shipment of about 3.7 million iPhones during the year equates to approximately 2.5 percent of the entire market, or sixth place. The top rankings remain largely unchanged from last year and see Motorola leading sales with about 32 percent of sales, down slightly from 33 percent the year before; Samsung gained signicantly, moving up to second place with a jump from 14 to 17 percent of US share. LG dipped to third place with a flat 16 percent of the market, while Nokia and Sanyo held on to fourth and fifth places respectively with 10 and 4 percent share each.
However, Apple's share improves significantly when placed among smartphones, which doubled their influence on the market to count for 12 percent of all sales in the last quarter of the year, according to NPD. When placed in this category, the iPhone represents about 19.1 percent of the entire US smartphone business for 2007 despite launching at the year's mid-point and an initially high price tag.
The iPhone was also fifth place in terms of individual phone models sold during the last calendar quarter of 2007, with two Motorola phones as well as individual LG and Samsung models superceding the Apple device.
Additionally, NPD analysts credit the iPhone with helping to grow the number of music-capable cellphones on the market in the past year. Where 34 percent of phones were capable of media playback in 2006, the number climbed to just short of half of all devices at 48 percent. The number of phones available with removable storage also grew from 22 percent of all devices in the last three months of 2006 to 33 percent a year later, though the study does not include devices with large amounts of built-in storage in the list.
The research firm nonetheless downplays media playback as an emphasis in its 2008 predictions, instead suggesting that most phones will focus on faster 3G Internet access as well as larger screens and a break away from traditional directional pad navigation.