NPD: Retailers are missing out on higher smartphone revenue

Retailers are missing out on some of the revenue they could be reaping from the sales of smartphones because they aren't putting enough effort into selling accessories, according to a new report from the NPD Group.

The market research firm found that while smartphones made up 59 percent of all U.S. mobile handset sales in the third quarter (up 13 percent from the year-ago period) the average selling price of those devices declined to $135. In addition, NPD found that U.S. consumers are actually paying less than they thought to purchase a smartphone, reflecting, in part, the carriers' willingness to subsidize the cost of the devices to get customers to upgrade. Among U.S. consumers who considered purchasing smartphones in the $200 to $250 price range, 64 percent ended up purchasing a phone for less than $200, NPD found.

Despite the growth in sales and drop in prices, retailers are leaving money on the table in smartphone transactions. "Even as smartphone prices continue to decline, the accessory attachment rates for smartphones in Q3 was unchanged since last year," Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, said in a statemenet. "This indicates further opportunity for retailers to improve revenue numbers by focusing marketing efforts on selling more accessories."

According to NPD, the top-selling U.S. smartphone models in third quarter, were, in order: Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4, the iPhone 3Gs, the HTC Evo 4G, the Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Droid 3 and the Samsung Intensity II. 

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