Carriers Maintain Handset Share

By Joseph Palenchar On Dec 8 2003 - 8:00am

Cellular carriers have maintained their commanding lead in selling phones to consumers, NPD TechWorld found in its ongoing consumer surveys.

For the nine months ending September 2003, carrier-direct channels accounted for 60 percent or more of handsets sold to consumers, NPD said. That percentage was up only slightly from carriers' full-year 2002 and 2001 share, the research company found. Carrier channels include carrier-owned stores, telemarketing sales and carrier Web site sales.

During the three-year-period, the majority of phones sold in the indirect (non-carrier) channel were sold through electronics superstores, office and computer superstores, and department stores.

NPD Group's Cell Track service combines data from a panel of retailers and online consumer surveys (heavily weighted to the latter) to reflect the total U.S. consumer market. Each week, 35,000 surveys are sent to a panel of pre-recruited individuals who have agreed to participate and have completed a comprehensive demographic questionnaire. The responding sample is demographically balanced (to restore sample proportions to U.S. census levels), then projected and calibrated, to represent the population for people ages 13 and up.

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