First-quarter mobile handset shipments in the U.S. slipped to 31 million units, down 28 percent year-over-year, according to a new report issued by market research firm The NPD Group. Overall handset sales revenues in the U.S. fell to $2.7 billion, a 7 percent slide from Q1 2007--according to NPD, with the nation's economic forecast grim and belts tightening, many consumers may be holding back on purchasing new devices. Motorola maintained its lead in U.S. market share, although unit sales declined from 35 percent in the first quarter of 2007 to 27 percent this year, followed by Samsung (18 percent), LG (17 percent), Nokia (8 percent) and RIM (5 percent). NPD adds that first-quarter sales favored more feature-rich devices than those sold a year ago, with smartphones representing 17 percent of all Q1 2008 purchases, up 10 percent year-over-year. During the quarter, almost 80 percent of phones sold boasted Bluetooth technology (up from 65 percent a year ago) and 60 percent of phones were music-enabled (up from just 41 percent a year ago).
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Worldwide handset shipments slow in Q1