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iPhone tops RAZR as most-purchased U.S. consumer handset

Apple's iPhone 3G dethroned the top-ranked Motorola RAZR as the leading handset purchased by adult consumers in the U.S.
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Written by Andrew Nusca, Former editor on

Apple's iPhone 3G dethroned the top-ranked Motorola RAZR as the leading handset purchased by adult consumers in the U.S. during the third quarter of the year, according to market research firm NPD.

The king is dead! Long live the king!

That puts an end to the RAZR's three-year run atop the market. Ranking behind the iPhone are now Motorola's Razr, RIM's Blackberry Curve, LG's Rumor, and LG's enV2, in that order.

"The displacement of the RAZR by the iPhone 3G represents a watershed shift in handset design from fashion to fashionable functionality," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for NPD, on Apple Insider. "Four of the five best-selling handsets in the third quarter were optimized for messaging and other advanced Internet features."

Despite stronger consumer sales of iPhone, the mobile phone market failed to see its normal seasonal jump after the second quarter: domestic handset sales to adult consumers have declined 15 percent year over year in the third quarter, to 32 million units. Consumer handset sales revenue also fell 10 percent to $2.9 billion, even as the average selling price rose 6 percent to $88.

This news comes shortly after Apple announced that it sold more handsets in the third quarter than RIM, making it the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world by volume.

More interesting info from the report:

  • When it comes to the specific features that motivated U.S. consumers to purchase last quarter, 43 percent of handset buyers cited the need for a camera and 36 percent noted the ability to send and receive text messages.
  • Phones with a physical QWERTY keyboard experienced the greatest year-over-year rise in sales. About 30 percent of handsets sold during the quarter had this feature, up from just 11 percent the year prior.
  • 83 percent of phones purchased by consumers were Bluetooth enabled (versus 72 percent last year), and 68 percent of phones purchased were music enabled (versus 49 percent last year).

On top of all that, the iPhone is "trouncing" BlackBerrys and Treos in reliability. So what's in store for the future? You tell us - in TalkBack.

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