iPhone Leads US Handset Sales in Q3, NPD Reports

Early today, it was revealed by the NPD Group that there has been a significant shift in the U.S. consumer cellphone market rankings for the third quarter. For the first time in three years, the iPhone has dethroned the Motorola RAZR, which has been the preferred choice among adult users.

This change marks a significant turn in consumer preferences.

Despite a 15% drop in overall cellphone sales compared to the same quarter last year, the iPhone 3G surged ahead to become the most purchased handset in the nation. Additionally, LG has overtaken Motorola to become the leading vendor in terms of sales. The RAZR’s decline is notable even though it is now often available for free on many new carrier contracts, which still counts towards sales figures according to NPD’s methodology.

“This shift from the RAZR to the iPhone 3G indicates a major transition in handset design priorities, from aesthetic appeal to functional elegance,” commented Ross Rubin, NPD’s director of industry analysis and a recent guest on a TUAW talkcast.

He noted that four out of the five top-selling handsets are now models that are optimized for messaging and advanced web functionalities.

The leading trio of handsets, comprising the iPhone, the RAZR, and the Blackberry Curve, cater to varied market segments and consumer needs. The iPhone’s rise to the top is particularly remarkable considering the anticipation for its 3G model and its evolution from the first-generation iPhone, which sacrificed some features to expedite its market launch. Despite lacking certain popular functionalities like copy/paste and tethering, the iPhone’s success is a testament to its broad appeal and market strategy.


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