Stevenson's TraQline Shows Rapid Smartphone Growth

By TWICE Staff On Apr 9 2012 - 4:01am

LOUISVILLE, KY. – The Stevenson Company, in its most recent TraQline Wireless report, shows smartphones are gaining share at a rapid rate in both prepaid and postpaid, and now represent more than 50 percent of all phone purchases.

In prepaid, smartphones represent 29 percent of all sales, compared with 5 percent just three years ago. Postpaid shows a gain of 310 basis points from 2009 to 2011, bringing its smartphone penetration to 63 percent.

As a percentage of total cellphone purchases, prepaid purchases have increased 370 basis points from 2009 through 2011, and now represent 17 percent of total cellphone purchases.

Walmart remains the top prepaid cellphone retailer, with 25 percent market share and prepaid accounting for 68 percent of their cellphone sales.

For cellphone carrier stores, the mix of cellphone sales that are prepaid was flat year over year. For the top two prepaid brands, Samsung and LG, both experienced significant gains in unit share year over year.

Other 2011 TraQline Wireless findings include:

• Best Buy and Amazon are experiencing large gains in prepaid.

• Fifty percent of cellphone purchasers shop online before making their purchase.

• Shopping online includes comparing prices, features and benefits, looking for promotions or sales, basic product research and reading consumer reviews.

• Features are the No. 1 reason a consumer purchases a given cellphone brand, followed by competitive price and brand loyalty.

• Features are more important to prepaid phone purchasers than postpaid.

“Opportunities exist in both the prepaid and postpaid market, but the upswing in prepaid purchases and smartphone proliferation opens up a market opportunity for retailers and manufacturers alike,” said Eric Voyer, VP, The Stevenson Company. “Our findings suggest a continued demand for prepaid options, with handset features playing a critical factor in the purchase decision. As consumers begin to rely on their wireless devices more, retailers and manufacturers have to adapt to shifting preferences to remain competitive and retain and grow market share.”

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