Cellphones Hit 146M Units

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Port Washington, N.Y. - Mobile phone sales to U.S. consumers reached 146 million units or $11.5 billion during 2007, as more consumers replace land-line phones with cellular phones, said the NPD Group.

In addition, smart phones, Bluetooth and music enabled phones saw strong increases in 2007.

"More consumers are relying on cell phones as their only phones and are willing to invest in their functionality and expression of style,” said Ross Rubin, NPD director of industry analysis.

In the fourth quarter, 19 percent of mobile phone consumers said their mobile phone was their primary phone versus 16 percent in Q4 2006.

Smartphones gained in share to 12 percent in the fourth quarter compared to only six percent in Q4 2006.  Similarly, music-enabled devices gained a 48 percent share compared to 34 percent in Q4 2006. 

Bluetooth grew to 72 percent of all phones sold in Q4 2007 compared to 53 percent in Q4 2006, but only 19 percent of consumers are using the Bluetooth feature, said NPD.

Phones supporting removable memory climbed to 33 percent, up from 22 percent.

In supplier share, Motorola continued to dominate sales with a 32 percent unit share, down slightly from 33 percent in 2006. Motorola had the two top selling handsets joined by models from LG, Samsung and Apple.

"The thin clamshell as popularized by Motorola's RAZR, continues to lead U.S. handset sales. However, sliders and larger screens are driving the trend of putting more access at the consumer's fingertips," said Rubin.

Nokia retained its number four slot for 2007, although its share dropped from 15 percent in 2006 to 10 percent in 2007.  Samsung gained in share from 14 percent in 2006 to 17 percent in 2007.

The NPD Group analyzes mobile device sales based on more than 150,000 online consumer research surveys each month.

A breakdown of the top four handset manufacturers' unit share of new handset sales in 2006 versus 2007 is as follows: 


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