factoid re slowing sales of some mobile handsets in USA

Ron K. Jeffries rjeffries at gmail.com
Tue May 20 20:32:25 CEST 2008

fyi only

Handset sales slowing in U.S. amid worsening

By Lynnette Luna

There is good and bad news for the U.S. mobile wireless industry when it
comes to the worsening economy. The bad news: Consumers' purchases of new
mobile devices declined in the first quarter for the first time in many
years. The good news: The decline tended to concentrate around customers
using prepaid and among the middle class. The higher end market that
features higher ARPU customers that heavily use the more sophisticated
devices continued to grow.

*The Wall Street Journal* cites two new studies that indicate falling
handset sales in the first quarter. Strategy Analytics reported a 5 percent
decline in the quarter compared with the previous year, while NPD Group
reported a 22-percent drop in the purchase of new devices in the first
quarter. Also, Bernstein Research estimates that U.S. mobile operators added
23 percent fewer subscribers in the first quarter compared with the first
quarter in 2007. The firm is anticipating that growth will continue to slow
and said that the segment experiencing the most slowdown is new
subscriptions for children under 12 and for "deeply sub prime users, and
it's reasonable to think that in a weak economy, that both of these
populations would be strapped," said analyst Craig Moffett. Prepaid MVNO
Virgin Mobile is being squeezed by the

However, NPD estimates that high-end devices made up 17 percent of all
mobile-phone sales in the first quarter, in increase of 10 percentage points
since the first quarter 2007.

To read more about the economy's impact on the U.S. mobile-phone market:
- check out this
*The Wall Street Journal* (sub. req.)

Related articles:
- Virgin Mobile's growing troubles Editorial on Virgin Mobile's slowing net
- Virgin Mobile USA: Poor earnings economy's

Ron K. Jeffries
Twitter @RonKJeffries
mobile 805 567 4670
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