US Consumer Phone Sales Decline 22 Percent In Q1; BlackBerry Enters The Top Five: Report

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The shaky economy is starting to show up in U.S. phone sales. In the first quarter, consumer phone sales reached 31 million handsets, falling 22 percent compared to the year-ago period. For the first time, the NPD Group said sales fell between the busy holiday quarter and the first quarter. Despite this, the phones being sold today are higher-end compared to the year ago period, with smartphones comprising 17 percent of all phone sales, a 10 percent increase. Two of the big features being sold are Bluetooth at 79 percent of all phones and music-playing capabilities at 60 percent. The struggling Motorola (NYSE: MOT) maintained its No. 1 position, however, its share fell to 27 percent in the period from 35 percent a year ago. Likely to Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) chagrin, for the first time RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) BlackBerry improved its ranking, edging out Sanyo as the fifth-largest manufacturer. Apple didn’t make the list.

Here’s the breakdown:

— Motorola 27 percent
— Samsung 18 percent
— LG (SEO: 066570) 17 percent
— Nokia (NYSE: NOK) 8 percent
— RIM BlackBerry 5 percent

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