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One-Third of All SmartPhones Activated in Q1, 2013 were PrePaid plans. Apple, is now making significant in-roads into the PrePaid Market β­β­β­β­πŸ“πŸ“

May 16, 2013

One-Third of all SmartPhones Activations in Q1, 2013 were on PrePaid plans, a trend that has favored Android. Apple, is now making significant in-roads into the prepaid market.

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, May 15, 2013 – According to The NPD Group, a global information company, in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, year-over-year total smartphone sales increased 42%, with about one-third (actually 36%) of the actual unit volume increase was represented by PrePaid SmartPhone sales.

1⃣ Year-Over-Year prepaid smartphone unit sales doubled in Q1, 2013 and accounted for 32% of total SmartPhone unit sales, which is an 11% increase year-over-year and a 10% sequential increase from the record-high share of 22% reached in Q4, 2012.

2⃣ Postpaid SmartPhone unit sales, which are sales related to traditional 2-year forward contract arrangements with cellular providers, grew by 23% which is actually quite a large percentage growth, between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013.

3⃣ In a quarter without a major product launch from either of the two market leaders, consumers, (likely “DumbPhone” customers migrating to SmartPhones) refocused their attention away from the postpaid-wars (2-year contract providers like AT&T and Verizon) toward finding the best value (code-words for lower price) for their dollar. NPD said β€œSales of prepaid smartphones doubled from 2012, continuing a string of more than 12 quarters of triple-digit sales increases.”

4⃣ Based on the latest information from NPD’s Mobile Phone Track, while Samsung’s share of prepaid smartphones remained stable between Q4 2012 and Q1 2013, the company has noted some market erosion compared to the prior year. Both LG and Apple made significant inroads into the segment since Q1 2012, with LG’s unit share doubling and Apple’s unit share increasing fourfold.

5⃣ For consumers looking at prepaid phones today, value does not directly equate with finding phones that are cheap or obsolete. In fact, the Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S, two of the top five prepaid smartphone models in 2013, were among the Top-Selling phones overall just one year earlier.

6⃣ Sales of the Top 5 prepaid smartphone brands comprised more than 80% of all prepaid smartphone sales, which is an increase of +5% points over Q1, 2012. National retailers were the dominant retail channel for prepaid smartphone purchases, and their sales-volume share has risen almost 40% in the past year.


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