Online mobile phone retailer Wirefly found Google Android powered-smartphones drove sales this holiday season.
Wirefly, an Internet authorized retailer of cell phones and cell phone
plans, released its annual list of its top 10 best-selling cell phones during
the 2010 holiday shopping season and offered up its predictions for cell phone
trends that will shape the mobile and wireless industry in 2011.
Smartphones seemed to be on everyone's gift lists this year, claiming every
position on this Top 10 list. Android-powered smartphones, such as the HTC
Evo 4G and Droid Incredible by HTC, took
nine of the top 10 spots. The company noted it does not currently sell Apple's
coveted iPhone 4.
"2010 was the year of the smartphone, and its popularity certainly did
not wane during the holiday shopping season," said Andy Zeinfeld, CEO
of Simplexity, the parent company of Wirefly.com. "Not only have
smartphones gotten bigger, better, smarter and faster, but they are now more
affordable-making them mainstream consumer devices."
The HTC Evo, on Sprint's network, led the
list as the company's top-selling phone over the holiday season, followed by
Verizon's Droid Incredible by HTC, the
Samsung Captivate (on AT&T's network), the Motorola Droid X on Verizon and
the Samsung Intercept on Sprint's network. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 claimed
the sixth spot, followed by the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (both are on AT&T's
network). The Droid 2 Global by Motorola and the Samsung Fascinate, both on
Verizon's network, took eighth and tenth place, respectively, while the Samsung
Epic 4G on Sprint's network took ninth place.
"We predict that many of the trends that began to emerge during the
last half of 2010 will continue to gain popularity in 2011," Zeinfeld
said. "However, ours is an extremely competitive and dynamic market, so we
also expect to see the emergence of new technology and new trends in the coming
Zeinfeld said he expect to see even more consumers adopt the contract-free
lifestyle in 2011, a trend that started to gain serious momentum in 2010. As a
result, he said consumers will see an influx of affordably priced prepaid
smartphones, particularly Android-powered smartphones, from manufacturers that
are less established in the United States.
"The launch of the next-generation wireless data networks 4G and LTE
were met with consumer praise and industry enthusiasm in 2010. However, with
the technology limited to mostly data cards and a handful of wireless devices,
its debut did not have a major impact on the market," he continued. "We
predict that 2011 will be the year of 4G and LTE handsets. Carriers will strive
to be the first to get their devices on the market, and consumers will be
waiting with bated breath to get their hands on them."
The company also predicted that the front-facing camera on smartphones will become
a feature available on more handsets and consumers will embrace this way of
communicating-not just in WiFi hot spots or to other phones but everywhere all
the time. Consumers will seek out smartphones that are capable of supporting
advanced applications to maximize productivity and keep them connected and
entertained while on the go, Wirefly predicted, with examples including mobile
commerce and video-centric apps such as video chat/calls, video sharing, and
movie downloading and streaming.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.