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iPhones First Round Punch Lands Hardest on Treo and T-Mobile


iPhone is bridging the gap between consumer-focused feature phones and productivity-focused smartphones, according to new report

According to a new report from The NPD Group, a leading consumer and retail information company, early buyers demonstrate that the iPhone is managing to bridge the gap between content-focused feature phones and productivity-focused smartphones. NPD’s iPhone Report is a top-line view of initial buyers of the iPhone, which provides insight into how Apple’s entry into the market is affecting mobile phone product sales among consumers in the U.S.

“The iPhone’s Internet and media capabilities have resonated with consumers — especially those who previously owned Treos and Sidekicks,” said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD. “Its advanced operating system makes it competitive with smartphones for many tasks, while its sleek design and lack of expandability is reminiscent of fashion phones.”

Initial iPhone buyers were 10 times more likely than other new phone buyers to have previously owned a Treo and three times more likely to have owned a T-Mobile branded phone, such as the popular Sidekick model. Both the Treo and the Sidekick offer a physical keypad — something the iPhone, with its touch screen-based interface, does not. In contrast, iPhone buyers were no more likely than the average buyer to have previously owned a Blackberry. “The iPhone’s lack of corporate email support appears to make it less appetizing to current Blackberry owners,” Rubin said.

When it comes to carrier switching, Alltel and T-Mobile took the biggest hit from Apple and AT&T’s iPhone marketing juggernaut. Consumers who switched carriers to buy an iPhone were three times more likely to switch from Alltel or T-Mobile than from other carriers. Sprint and Verizon also lost customers to AT&T and the iPhone, but not nearly to the same degree, due to their existing over-the-air (OTA) music offerings, rich video and data services and 3G networks already in place.

Information included in this press release is based on NPD’s iPhone Report, which includes detailed demographic information on buyers and a comprehensive analysis on how and why they purchased the device, how many buyers switched carriers, a breakdown between AT&T and Apple store sales, and consumer purchase motivators and influencers. Surveys were received from more than 13,000 consumers who acquired mobile phones within the prior 30-day period — among this group, more than 200 purchased a new iPhone. The data was weighted, balanced and projected to represent the total U.S. population.

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

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