Apple's iPhone: The No. 1 and No. 2 Selling Smartphone

By Josh Long Comments
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The best-selling mobile phone in the third quarter was none other than Apple's iPhone 4, according to The NPD Group, a market research company.

And look what ranked No. 2: last year's model, the iPhone 3G S. That was followed by the HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid 3 and Samsung Intensity II, respectively, based on data from NPD's monthly Mobile Phone Track service, which reports on the activities of U.S. consumers age 18 and older.

In Apple's fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ending Sept. 24, the company sold 17.07 million iPhones. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple and its mobile operator partners began selling the iPhone 4S in October, and the device appears to be headed for record sales: More than four million iPhone 4S smartphones were sold during the first weekend the device was available.

The iPhone 4S and other slick devices that function like computers are driving growth in the U.S. market for smartphones.

Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group found that smartphones represented 59 percent of U.S. mobile handset sales in the third quarter, up 13 percentage points over the same period a year ago.

Apparently, smartphones keep getting cheaper. The average selling price for the devices was $135 in the third quarter, constituting the fourth consecutive quarterly decline in price, NPD Group said. Among U.S. consumers who considered buying phones in the price range of $200 to $250, 64 percent ultimately snapped up a device for less than $200.

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