The top selling smartphones in the U.S. during Q3 were the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone 3GS

The top selling smartphones in the U.S. during Q3 were the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone 3GS
Thanks to a huge discount for an older model, the top selling pair of smartphones in the U.S. during the third quarter were the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone 3GS in that order. According to stats compiled by the NPD group, the pair beat out some Android heavyweights launched during the period like the HTC EVO 3D and the Motorola DROID 3. During the third quarter, the Apple iPhone 4S had yet to launch, which made the iPhone 4 the current version of the phone at the time.

The data, which comes from new smartphone purchases by those 18 or older, does not include enterprise or corporate purchases. During the three-month period, the Apple iPhone 4 was priced at $199.99 with a signed 2-year contract for the 16GB model while the 8GB Apple iPhone 3GS was free with a signed contract.

During the quarter, of those smartphone buyers who said they were willing to pay $200 to $250 for their next handset, 64% ended up paying under $200 for their new phone. NPD suggested that this means that carriers were leaving money on the table while the average price for a new smartphone dropped for the fourth consecutive quarter. During the third quarter, the average price of a new smartphone was $135.

However, it seems that some carriers, like Verizon, have stretched the line of what used to be the "Gold Standard" for smartphone prices during the fourth quarter. Where Big Red used to price its high-end models at $199.99 with a signed two-year contract, the latest Verizon top of the line phones are being priced at $299.99 with the signed contract. These are usually dual-core, LTE enabled phones like the Motorola DROID BIONIC, the Motorola DROID RAZR and the HTC Rezound. This pricing started in the Q2 with the launch of the Samsung Droid Charge which is an LTE enabled phone, but is powered by a single-core processor. .

While handset prices dropped in the third quarter, on average, accessory prices were steady indicating a fairly decent demand for them. Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, suggested that retailers could do well by focusing their promotions on smartphone accessories.

source: NPD via AppleInsider

Related phones

iPhone 4
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A4, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1420 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)
iPhone 3GS
  • Display 3.5" 320 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 3 MP
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1219 mAh(12.00h talk time)

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81 Comments

1. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

No surprise.

31. Shangri-La

Posts: 76; Member since: Oct 04, 2011

Yea, cheap phones sell more. Expected.

34. bucky

Posts: 3778; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

doesnt really apply. Android phones are cheap one month after they are released and overtaken by a new one. Just look at the galaxy s2 ($100) and the droid bionic. the demand is still there.

144. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

For Q3:11, the aging Apple iPhone 3GS with outdated specs outsold the best Samsung phone, the best HTC phone or the best Motorola phone, respectively. I said it before, I will say it again. If Samsung or Motorola or HTC stop making crap, i.e. a phone for every market or segment, they too can have similar success to the 3GS. Instead, Samsung or Motorola or HTC are caught in the treadmill of producing as many phone variation as possible akin to throwing wet paper against a wall and seeing which one sticks. These companies spread their talent, resources, attention too thin can't produce a phone that sells as well as the 3GS. To add insult to injury, only one carrier offers the 3GS.

97. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Agreed,seeing as there\'s only 3 phones representing a whole os its really easily how to see they are the top selling \'phones\'. Android however is the top selling os by far but with several top popular handsets from mulitple vendors (samsung,htc,sony,lg,motorola etc) the sales over from android are spread across the wider base of handsets thus giving the impression the iphone is more popular by individual handset sale

99. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

mistypes there,meant that there\'s only 3 iphones representing a whole os so easy to see how they show up as best selling individual \'phones\'

106. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

There's lots of flaws to your theory. First handset sales do matter. Motorola, Samsung, HTC etc compete with each other. Androids market share is of no benefit to them individually. Second Apple competes with all the top handsets just like android makers do. iPhone sells more because people prefer iPhone's. Once an android maker makes a phone that's competitive it can outsell the iPhone. No need to justify facts. iPhone is the best selling phone in the US. Period.

111. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

Why would Samsung care about just US sales? It outsells iPhone worldwide. Same goes for the other manufacturers. I wouldn't make the inference that iPhone sells more because people prefer the hardware. I bought it for iOS, even though I would have preferred a 4.3" screen and less fragile hardware.

115. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Not sure what you're getting at. The article is about US sales. I said people prefer iPhone that could be a lot of reasons including the software. I prefer iOS mainly. I also like the build quality of the phone, but the OS is the main selling point of iPhone for me. Only Samsung outsold Apple world wide. Apple outsold every other manufacturer in Q3. Sorry you're wrong. Apple has outsold Samsung for the year so far and with Q4 they should extend their lead.

125. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

taco, while obviously an iphone competes with all other phones, it has less competition. When someone wants an iOS phone, they dont have much choice. when someone wants an Android phone, there are lots n lots of choices. If you say "top end iphone".. you can only think i4S. If you say "top end android" you can say SGS2, note, razr, bionic, sensation, on and on and on and on. For that reason, unless iOS just drastically falls in market share, an iphone will more than likely be in the top spot for a long time to come.

103. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

Two outdated products on discounted rates are easily sold

145. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I wish people would also take the time to focus on the business side of things. For example, do you realize how much money, resources, and time is needed to bring a phone from the drawing board to market. Just ask yourself, how can you stay in business if you don't generate an adequate rate of return for your efforts. Right now, the high-end Android OEMs may enjoy their day in the sun, but watch out as the second tier android OEMs flex their muscle. This is not the time for the Samsung, HTC, or Motorola to rest on their laurels. Next year, the android market will get more crowded and fragmented.

5. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Not banned buddy

10. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

and there he is.

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i did? which thread. no he was just temp banned.. he will be back shortly. and no, the bet is still on. :)

117. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Well pa said he was banned they lied. Um the thread with the skyrocket.

16. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

why banned ? No taco no discussion

98. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Yes sometimes we need a taco comment to keep the stereotype of apple fanboys intact

26. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i guess the better question, is why did your question get modded?

3. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

but only in the US ;)

110. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

if that makes you feel better. There's no numbers I'm aware of for world sales, but pretty sure that will be iPhone as well.

6. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

BTW, this news comes from an apple fan site. while it may or may not be valid, some actual hard numbers would give it credibility. It beat out the others by how much? how did they come to this conclusion? what were the actual rankings of the top 5-10 phones with sales?

14. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Try reading the article "According to stats compiled by the NPD group" http://www.npdgroup.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/pressreleases/pr_111114a

19. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

taco, that doesnt answer any of my questions about actual sales, its just reiterating what this article was paraphrasing from the apple article that was cherry picking from that NPD article, which i read already. Hense, my questions.

22. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Considering iPhone has been #1 in sales and # every quarter this year why would this be surprising?

33. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i didnt say it was, did i. i expect a popular OS with only 2 or 3 phones for sale to outpace the other OS that is more than twice as popular but has like 50 phones for sale. Thats the nature of the beast. Marketshare though is stagnant for iOS, with or without top sales spots, while android is growing in over all share.

75. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

What does android market share have to do with the article. Please stay on topic.

101. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

im pretty sure market share has a direct correlation with sales.. cant have the former without the latter.

102. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Agreed android is outselling and out pacing ios on a daily basis but islaves have just 3 phones to choose from if they stay stuck with apple. Android on he other hand has at least 20-30 top current hansets so the purchases are spread over a much larger base of phones and over individual handset sales are less than that of the sole iphone choices. Over all though individual sales don\'t represent the over market as android is gaining further and further distance in the lead

105. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

stop calling iPhone users with offensive names.

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