Prepaid Apple iPhone: Would you be surprised by news that prepaid smartphone sales are taking off? According to NPD’s Mobile Phone Track, this segment of the market has hit its stride over the past year. As you can imagine, this will definitely change the approach of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its competitors.
The report from The NPD Group shows that “in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, year-over-year total smartphone sales increased 42 percent, with one-third (36 percent) of the actual unit volume increase represented by prepaid smartphone sales.”
This is a huge jump for the prepaid smartphone segment in a very short period of time. While many may not believe that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a big player in this space, you may be surprised to find that the Cupertino based company is doing quite well.
While Samsung saw its market share of prepaid smartphone sales remain the same between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2012, some other companies, including Apple, have actually improved.
The study goes on to report that “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.”
This is a huge increase for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as it continues to track down the top manufacturers in this segment.
Right now, Apple and HTC are tied in the fourth place position with the leaders, from the top, being Samsung, LG, and Huawei.
Stephen Baker, vice present of industry analysis at NPD, added some thoughts on why this growth may be taking place:
“In a quarter without a major product launch from either of the two market leaders, consumers refocused their attention away from the postpaid wars and toward finding the best value for their dollar. Sales of prepaid smartphones doubled from the previous year, continuing a string of more than 12 quarters of triple-digit sales increases.”
Image above: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone
At this point, it is no coincidence that prepaid smartphone sales are increasing. After 12 quarter of triple-digit sales increases, it is time for everybody to start paying attention to where this segment of the market is headed.
Baker added that “the easy purchase cycle and grab-and-go nature of the product play into the strength of large-format stores. Certainly, companies like AT&T recognize this shift in purchasing as they ramp up their focus on prepaid phones with their recently announced ‘Aio’ product branding initiative.”
Learn more about how Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stacks up against the competition: