NPD: iPhone 4 remains top-selling smartphone, Android sales down in Q1

smartphone-os-wars-ios-android-wp7-bbos6-webosApple’s iPhone 4 remained the top selling smartphone for the first quarter of 2011, according to market research group NPD. Meanwhile, Android phones saw their first quarterly drop in sales in two years.

The iPhone 4 retained its lead as the single best-selling mobile phone in large part to Verizon launching the device on its network in February. Overall, Apple accounted for 14 percent of all smartphone sales, which placed the Cupertino-based company in third place behind Samsung (23 percent) and LG (18 percent). Apple beat out competitors HTC, Motorola and Research in Motion (RIM).

Total smartphone sales rose eight percent in the first quarter of 2011 from the fourth quarter of 2010, but total mobile phone sales fell by a single percent.  According to NPD, it was the first time that smartphones outsold traditional mobile phones.

Android didn’t do so well over the first three months of the year. Sales of smartphones running the operating system fell to 50 percent, down from 53 percent in the previous quarter. Smartphones running Apple’s iOS accounted for 28 percent of smartphone sales — a nine percent increase.  RIM continued on a downward trajectory by falling to 14 percent, a five percent decline for the company.

With Apple creating a stir with today’s release of the white iPhone 4 and an iPhone 5 lurking in the not so distant future, the company should have no problem keeping its smartphone near the top of sales leader board. But that’s not to say the iPhone won’t be facing some serious competition from Android, which is also readying a highly-anticipated lineup of its own.

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