• Holiday Handset Sales May Be Merry
  • January 12, 2009 | Authors: Jennifer L. Richter; Jennifer A. Cetta; Carly T. Didden
  • Law Firm: Patton Boggs LLP - Washington Office
  • With lowered expectations, U.S. handset sales for the fourth quarter may prove to be better than expected. Analysts report that while it is difficult to get customers into stores, heavy marketing and attractive promotions for high-end data devices are helping sales and changing traditional handset categories. Analysts believe that the old low-, mid- and high-tier handset categories are less meaningful because consumers are buying more sophisticated devices due to large subsidies. Free handsets also are moving but handsets in the middle range are struggling.

    Analysts speculate that the new categories may be free, not free, needs data plan, and smartphone or large screen. Going forward, carriers will be faced with the challenge of convincing consumers of the continued value of mid-level or not free handsets when they could purchase a high-end handset with more and improved data options for decreasing sums of money.