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Google’s Android phones stake place in sales chartBy
Online mobile device retailer Wirefly found that consumers are embracing smartphones, with each spot in its fourth quarter top ten sales going to a Web-enabled device.
Touch-screen devices that have user-friendly interfaces with email, photos, social network access and Internet are big draws for consumers. Wirefly is predicting that consumers will begin to rely more on their smartphones for productivity, entertainment and communication.
“As we’ve dropped the prices of many new smartphones and touch-screen phones down to free with a contract, they have displaced flip phones and other traditional phones as the top sellers across the board,” said Scott Ableman, chief marketing officer of Wirefly.com, Reston, VA.
“Clearly, texting and Internet access are no longer considered optional luxuries,” he said. “As people become more dependent on apps, the need for data access just continues to grow.”
Wirefly, an entity of Simplexity, is an authorized dealer for every major carrier in the United States.
The Web site also offers discounts and services not available in retail wireless stores, including real-time online order status and tracking.
Android revs up
The No. 1 selling phone of the fourth quarter of 2009 was the Samsung Impression A877 from AT&T.
The Samsung Impression has a 3.2-inch screen and a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Bold 9700 on AT&T was No. 2. The Bold has international 3G connectivity.
The Samsung Mythic a897 from AT&T came in at No. 3. The phone has a 3.3-inch touch screen and was designed for streaming AT&T Mobile TV.
Motorola’s Droid on Verizon Wireless came in at No. 4. The Droid has a combination touch screen and a QWERTY-slider and a 5.0 megapixel camera.
“Android phones came from nowhere in just one quarter to stake major positions on the top-seller list,” Mr. Ableman said. “Just as importantly, just about all of our top-selling phones now require a data plan feature from the carriers.”
Wirefly is predicting the Android operating system is set to make significant gains in the smartphone market in 2010.
Consumers can also expect the carrier rate plan war to heat up (see story).
Carriers are going to continue to invest more heavily in increasing their footprint by improving quality and speed while driving down costs to consumers, according to Wirefly.
Manufacturers will continue to roll out new and improved smartphones to keep up with consumer demand to stay connected while on-the-go.
Wirefly said that for most consumers, the smartphone will be the norm and not the exception in 2010.
With the increase in smartphones, consumers will no longer be satisfied with the standard, preinstalled applications.
Instead, they will seek out and download specific applications that cater to their needs. Wirefly predicts that the application stores that will ultimately succeed will be those that make it easy for consumers to shop and download quality applications safely and securely.
While the netbook was a hot device in 2009, Wirefly said 2010 will be the year of the tablet.
“The war is on for market share between application platforms,” Mr. Ableman said. “The Android, BlackBerry, Palm and Windows application catalogs are growing rapidly.
“As that playing field levels, it’s going to be a land-grab to develop customer loyalty for one platform over another,” he said.
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