By Megan Fleet
While the reign of carrier-dedicated smartphones is still in effect, the is a ever-growing contingent of rebel consumers wanting to liberate themselves from the typical long term high cost service contracts only offered by unlocked cell phones. Alas, with this rather feudal system still imposed on consumers, market analysts and watchdog agencies alike continue to monitor and gauge consumer spending and behavior trends what devices will be top sellers this holiday season..
Analyst Mike Walkley and his team ran the numbers - no surprise that Apple’s iPhone 4S came in as the best-selling smartphone across all carriers November. The Samsung Galaxy S II is gaining in popularity and the increase in sales reflects it. The inspired handset was November’s top-selling smartphone at T-Mobile and rocketed to take 2nd place at AT&T and Sprint. The Motorola DROID RAZR is also worth mentioning for its 2nd place showing at Verizon - this writer loves the Gorilla Glass on this handset for us clumsy smartphone owners – iPhone users must have protective cases with the very shatter-prone glass. Data is still being compiled for the BlackBerry 9900 Bold.
To explain the continued sales strength of the iPhone 4S, Walkley explains “strength continues as distribution increases – our November checks indicated iPhone sales remained strong in the US, particularly at ATT&T and Sprint. Further, our checks indicated global share gains.” Global numbers will only grow with Apple introducing its darling to huge markets this December: China, Brazil, and Russia. Analyst also predict a strong consumer and market acceptance for tablets... in particular the Apple iPad 3G, Samasung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, HTC Jetstream with the BlackBerry PlayBook bringing up the rear.
Paired with the analyst’s report of the apple iPad2 retaining its billing of “world’s top-selling tablet,” this news is great for online retailers. Designer protective cases & bags, skins, stylus & pens, and even screen protectors are hot must-haves that the global consumer will jump on. Thanks to the world wide web and globalization, their online shopping options seriously opens up their ability to customize their devices with accessories.
Unfortunately, good news for Apple and Samsung does not translate into good news for their competitors. RIM and HTC, both who have seen their sales and product demand decrease after the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S II launches. With negative reception of product pre-announcements by both RIM and HTC, a little rebranding, positive press and innovative accessories and technology developments are in order.
The holiday race is far from over though and the unlocked smartphone consumer market could easily help make up the difference for these lagging device manufacturers. Something we hope they keep in mind when brainstorming a comeback.