Apple’s iPhone surpassed the Motorola RAZR as the leading handset purchased by U.S.-based adults in the third-quarter, according to a new study by market research firm The NPD Group.
“The displacement of the RAZR by the iPhone 3G represents a watershed shift in handset design from fashion to fashionable functionality,” said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for NPD. “Four of the five best-selling handsets in the third quarter were optimized for messaging and other advanced Internet features.”
The RAZR has been the number one ranked handset for 12 straight quarters. Even as the overall third-quarter market declined by 15 percent year-over-year to 32 million units, Apple had its best quarter ever.
In its fiscal fourth-quarter Apple sold 6.8 million iPhones — that’s more phones than all other quarters combined. The company had met its goal of selling more than 10 million iPhones during calendar year 2008.
Too top off its quarterly sales, Apple sold more phones in the quarter than Blackberry-maker Research In Motion (RIM).
The top-five selling handsets in the U.S. are Apple’s iPhone 3G; Motorola RAZR V3 (all models); RIM Blackberry Curve (all models); LG Rumor; and the LG enV2.
According to NPD’s research, 43 percent of handset buyers cited the need for a camera and 36 percent noted the ability to send and receive text messages. The number of phones with a QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth and the capability to play music were also on the rise this year over last.