Cell Phone Market Slows in the United States

The NPD Group, a market research firm which specializes in the wireless industry, is reporting that handset sales in the United States has totaled 28 million units in this year’s second quarter, down 13% over last year’s numbers. This is the third quarter in a row in which sales have declined in the U.S. and marks the lowest number of phones sold since NPD began counting sales numbers in 2005.

There is some good news despite slumping sales. American consumers are buying more expensive handsets. This has helped to boost sales value, which is down only 2% from a year ago. Also, NPD numbers don’t take into account institutional buyers. Government and business entities are helping to makeup sales numbers lost from a slowdown of individuals purchasing cell phones.

The average cell phone in NPD’s survey cost $84, up 14% from a year ago. The sale of smart phones has nearly doubled. Cell phones with a full-alphabet keyboard saw the biggest increase. At the same time, sales of cell phones that can only make calls have dropped.