The NPD Group: U.S. Mobile Phone Sales Peak at $8.8 Billion in 2006



    Record 4Q drives total new phone sales in 2006 to more than 143 million;

    Music-enabled phone sales doubled during 2006 from 16 percent of new
phones in Q1 to 32 percent in Q4;

    Bluetooth-enabled handsets comprised nearly half of all new sales in Q4
2006

    PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., March 27 /CNW/ - According to The NPD Group, a
leading consumer and retail information company, mobile phone sales to
consumers in the U.S. reached 143 million units by the end of 2006. In fact,
Q4 2006 sales, the biggest sales quarter last year, were 14 percent higher
than the same period the year prior. NPD estimates total 2006 consumer sales
of $8.8 billion, after rebates and promotions.

    "U.S. handset sales remained strong throughout 2006," said Ross Rubin,
director of industry analysis for The NPD Group. "A continual flow of new
devices with data-capable features, combined with carrier promotions and
rebates, have served to broaden the market of consumers who purchase new
phones and wireless plans."

    According to NPD's Mobile Phone Track, Motorola continued its dominance
of both subscriber share and new phone sales in the U.S. market during the
year, boosting its share of new phone sales sequentially from 29 percent to 33
percent as it continued to ride the success of its popular RAZR models. While
Nokia ranked third overall for the full year, their share of subscribers and
new sales demonstrated a steady downward trend. Nokia ranked fourth in new
sales in Q4 as Samsung improved its competitive position.

    Following is the breakdown of top four manufacturers' share of new
handset sales in 2006:

    
    Manufacturer:      Share:
    -------------------------
    Motorola           33%
    LG                 16%
    Nokia              15%
    Samsung            15%
    

    Verizon and Cingular/AT&T continued to battle for the top spot in both
subscriber share and share of new phone sales. In 2006, Cingular/AT&T
comprised 27 percent of all subscribers and 27 percent of all new phone sales.
Verizon also comprised 27 percent of all subscribers, but only 23 percent of
new phone sales.

    Other 2006 findings from NPD include the following:

    --  Sales of music-enabled devices have increased significantly within
the last year, from 18 percent during the second quarter of 2006 to 32 percent
during the fourth quarter.

    --  Coupled with the growth in music capable phones, devices that support
removable memory sales grew from just 6% in Q1 to 21% in Q4.

    --  The percentage of mobile phones sold with Bluetooth capability has
also increased significantly in the last year, from 31 percent in Q1 2006 to
nearly half (49 percent) of all phones sold in Q4.

    --  Camera phones continue to be popular among consumers. Two-thirds of
all devices sold in Q4 2006 included a camera.

    Methodology: The NPD Group compiles and analyzes mobile device sales data
based on more than 150,000 completed online consumer research surveys each
month. Surveys were based on a nationally balanced and demographically
representative sample, and results are projected to represent the entire
population of U.S. consumers.

    About The NPD Group, Inc.

    The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive
consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more
than 1,600 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help
them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local
market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities
and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other
functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors:
automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment,
fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software,
sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, visit http://www.npd.com/.




For further information:

For further information: The NPD Group Lee Graham, 212-333-4983
lee@leegraham.biz

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THE NPD GROUP, INC.

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