Google Android Phones Drive Holiday Sales: Report

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 "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 year."

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.