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NPD: Verizon iPhone Helping Apple In The March Against Android

Research group NPD released its Mobile Phone Track consumer tracking service for the first quarter of 2011 today, and according to the data gathered by the company the release of the Verizon iPhone helped Apple gaining market share in the U.S. smartphone market at the expense of Google’s Android operating system which, however, in spite of Apple’s growth is still accounting for 50% of smartphone sales in the United States in the quarter. Apple’s mobile phone sales have reached 14% in Q1 outranking RIM, Motorola and HTC, placing the company in the third spot of smartphone sales behind Samsung and LG. NPD claims the Verizon iPhone “solidified” Apple’s position with the top-selling phone in the US – something that doesn’t come as a total surprise considering Verizon Wireless already announced the CDMA iPhone 4 launch was the most successful ever for the company, with 2.2 million activations in 2 months for the “most acquired” smartphone in February.

Apple and Verizon had a very successful launch of the iPhone 4, which allowed the iPhone to expand its market share that was previously held back by its prolonged carrier exclusivity with AT&T,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at NPD. “While some of that growth came at the expense of Android operating system (OS), Android models still accounted for half of all smartphones sold in the quarter.”

According to NPD’s “Mobile Phone Track” consumer tracking service, for the first time a majority (54 percent) of all new mobile-phone handsets purchased by U.S. consumers were smartphones. Driven by increases in smartphone sales in Q1 2011, average selling prices for all mobile phones rose 2 percent over the previous quarter to reach $102; however, average prices for smartphones actually declined by 3 percent (falling to $145).

While Android lost ground for the first time since Q2 2009, a report by Digitimes earlier today about Pegatron’s Q1 results suggested Apple was lowering orders for CDMA iPhone following low sales under expectations. Verizon Wireless announced 2.2M activations, but Apple didn’t disclose numbers behind AT&T and Verizon iPhone sales at the Q2 2011 earnings call.

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