Keyboard, Touchscreen Phones Gain Q4 Share: NPD

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Port Washington, N.Y. - Cellphones with QWERTY keyboards or touchscreens increased their share of the retail cellphone market in last year's fourth quarter, when all of the top 10 phones in retail unit volume came with one or both features, an NPD Group consumer survey found.

In the quarter, 46 percent of phones sold had QWERTY keyboards, up from a year-ago 31 percent, and 34 percent came with touchscreens, up from the year-ago 20 percent, NPD said.

NPD also found that Apple, LG and RIM lost unit share in the quarter as Motorola's Droid, even though it was launched in the middle of the quarter, became the fifth most-purchased consumer mobile phone in the U.S. It was also the only smartphone in the top five to feature both a touchscreen and hard QWERTY keyboard.

"Regardless of whether they opt for a data plan, consumers want richer user interface options," said Ross Rubin, industry analysis executive director.  "The humble [dialing] keypad is losing in the race to optimize a handset's surface."

The top 10 phones by unit volume at the retail level were:

  1. RIM BlackBerry Curve (all 83XX models)
  2. LG enV3 
  3. Apple iPhone 3GS (both models) 
  4. Apple iPhone 3G 
  5. Motorola Droid 
  6. LG enV Touch 
  7. RIM Blackberry Tour 
  8. Samsung Intensity 
  9. Samsung Solstice 
  10. Samsung Impression

The NPD Group bases its statistics on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each month. Sales figures do not include corporate/enterprise mobile phone sales.

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