Last Year’s Smartphones Selling Better Than the Latest and Greatest

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Hardware companies are in the business of convincing you to buy the hottest new item. And save for Apple, it looks like smartphone makers aren’t doing a good job of it.

Four of the top five best-selling consumer smartphones of the second quarter were all made over a year or more ago, according to a recent report.

The iPhone 4 was the best selling smartphone among non-corporate consumer purchases from April through June, according to research firm NPD, with the iPhone 3GS coming in at a close second. Representing the Android operating system, HTC’s EVO 4G ranked as the third most purchased smartphone in Q2. And finally, the lesser-known Samsung Intensity 2 (released in June of 2010) came in fifth place. Samsung’s Inspire 4G ranked fourth, the only phone released in 2011 to make the top five.

To some extent, the increased iPhone sales make a certain amount of sense. The price of the 3GS dropped after Apple debuted its iPhone 4, attracting the bargain hunting demographic. To boot, the iPhone 4 saw a surge of new buyers after the release of a CDMA version on Verizon’s 3G network. Most recently, Apple released its white iPhone 4, resulting in another spike of sales.

With the slew of new Android phones released this year, sales have spread across the myriad Android-powered options consumers face. As a result, no one particular Android model has emerged as a true victor.

Instead, Android continues to dominate in operating system market share, as 52 percent of new smartphone purchases run Google’s operating system. Apple’s iOS emerges in a not-too-distance second place, with 29 percent of the OS market share. And of course, much of this growth is at RIM’s expense; the Canadian company bled out over half its share of sales compared to the same period last year. As usual, Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, and webOS each held less than 5% of the market.


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