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Smartphone Sales Rise As Selection Grows

NEW YORK — Smartphones dominated
the most recent round of cellphone
introductions as carriers try to
goose up smartphone sales and data revenues,
and market-research companies
indicate the carriers are succeeding.

New smartphones include the iPhone
4, which goes on sale June 24;
Sprint’s HTC-made 4G Evo, available
since June 7; and AT&T’s first Android
2.1 phone, the HTC-made Aria, available
since June 20.

In other smartphone announcements:

• T-Mobile launched its second Symbian-
based Nokia smartphone with
embedded portable navigation device

• Ridgeland, Miss.-based Cellular
South, the nation’s largest privately
held wireless communications provider,
announced plans today to expand its
Android selection with The Motorola
Milestone, an enhanced version of Motorola’s
Verizon-sold Droid. It’s not the
same Motorola Milestone announced
for sale in the U.K. and Europe.

The outlook for smartphone sales in
the U.S. “remains quite favorable” because
of “a plethora of new handsets from
a variety of vendors already in the pipeline
along with new generations of existing
handsets slated for release,” according
to a June 11 Barclays Capital assessment.

A Gartner study forecasts 46 percent
unit growth in U.S. smartphone shipments
this year to 62 million units, accounting
for almost 35 percent of cellphone
shipments for the year, up from
a 25 percent unit share in 2009.

Gartner sees U.S. shipments of all cellphones
growing by 4.8 percent in 2010,
up from 2009’s 1.4 percent gain, but shipments
of entry-level smartphones will
grow 574 percent to 8.2 million while shipments
of enhanced-feature smartphones
will grow 30.8 percent to 54.2 million.

The opportunity for selling smartphones
has grown as the replacement
cycle for the average subscriber has accelerated
to roughly a year, driven by
product wear, subscribers switching
carriers, upgrades as a subscriber’s contract
expires and demand for the latest
features, Barclays said.

Into this cycle, carrier AT&T announced
June 20 sales of its first Android
2.1 OS smartphone, the HTCmade
Aria, which will retail for $129
after $100 mail-in rebate through
AT&T-owned stores and AT&T’s

The full-touchscreen Aria
is HTC’s first Android phone
sold through AT&T, giving
it an Android presence
in all four national carriers.
It is also HTC’s first AT&T
phone with the handset maker’s
HTC Sense user interface
and its Friend Stream
feature, which aggregates
Facebook, Twitter and Flickr
updates in a single spot on the display.
The Sense UI has a seven-panel home
page that brings often-used apps and
info to the main screen for easy access.

Aria features 850/1900MHz
7.2Mbps HSPA wireless-data technology,
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/ for free access
to AT&T’s 20,000 hot spots, 600MHz
processor, 3.2-inch capacitive WVGA
touchscreen with haptic feedback, included
2GB MicroSD card, SDHCcapable
MicroSD slot, assisted GPS,
stereo Bluetooth, 5-megapixel camera/
camcorder with autofocus and up to six
hours of talktime.

For its part, Sprint said first-day sales
of the $199 HTC-made Evo, the first
3G/4G phone to hit the U.S. market,
exceeded first-day sales of any phone
launched by the carrier in its
history. The Android 2.1-
based smartphone went on sale
in early June in 22,000 locations,
including Sprint-owned
stores, RadioShack, Best Buy,
Walmart and other indirect
dealers. The phone delivers 4G
speeds up to an average 3Mbps
to 6Mbps and provides two-way video
chat to other Evo phones or to PCs in either
3G or 4G networks. Sprint offers
4G service in 33 markets and expects
to launch 4G service in at least 13 more
markets this year, including Boston, Los
Angeles, Miami and New York.

The industry awaits the expected
launch of RIM’s first BlackBerry with
both touchscreen and hard QWERTY
keyboard, expected to be available in
late June or July. The QWERTY keyboard/
dialing keypad will slide down
vertically from the phone. The device
would provide a hard QWERTY keyboard
and dialing keypad for heavy
email users while providing touchscreen

For its part, Cellular South plans
summertime availability through its direct
channels of the Android 2.1-based
Motorola Milestone, which will join its
first Android phone, the HTC Hero,
launched last November.

In the Pacific Northwest, carrier TMobile
planned mid-June availability
of a second Nokia 3G cellphone that
doubles as a portable navigation device
(PND) and downloads applications
from Nokia’s Ovi store.

The new model, the E73 Mode, is a
GPS-equipped 3G phone with hard
QWERTY keyboard and no touchscreen.
It as due June 16 in T-Mobile
stores, select authorized dealers and TMobile’s

Like a traditional PND, both Nokia
PND-phones incorporate onboard
maps, points-of-interest data and routing