BlackBerry and iPhone Dominated the Year in U.S. Phone Sales

The iPhone took 3 of the top 10 spots in smartphone sales this year.

Nielson has released its list of the most popular phones in the United States over the past year and the results are quite surprising. Both iPhone maker Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion easily dominated the list which was not limited to just smart phones. (Keep in mind that Nielson tracked from September 2009 to September 2010 to compile this.) Keep reading for the list and my breakdown.

Top Phones in the U.S. for 2010 (smart phones are in italics):

1. Apple iPhone 3GS
2. Samsung SCH-U450 (Intensity and Doubletake)
3. Motorola Droid
4. RIM BlackBerry 8500 series (Curve 8520 and 8530)
5. Apple iPhone 4
6. Apple 3G iPhone
7. RIM BlackBerry 8300 series (Curve 8310, 8320, 8330 and 8350i)
8. LG VX9200 (enV3)
9. Samsung SCH-U350 series (Smooth and Glint)
10. RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700

Alright, can we just call regular cell phones pretty much dead now? The fact that smart phones like the BlackBerry Bold 9700, Motorola Droid and Apple iPhone 4 showed up alongside plain old phones like the Samsung Smooth is a testament to the growing popularity of smart phones. It looks like Americans are quickly switching over to the much greener pastures that Apple, RIM and Google are promising with their smartphone operating systems.

What surprised me however is that only one Android powered phone even made the list. The Motorola Droid? C’mon. The iPhone 4 has been out for only six months and it managed to grab fourth place. Android sales are very strong but divided over a bunch of different models by different manufacturers.

It also looks likes carriers running buy one get one deals with cheaper BlackBerrys like the Curve series really helped sales for RIM.

How the heck did the iPhone 3G manage to sneak its way onto the list in fourth place? Perhaps refurbished sales are a lot stronger than anyone thought.

Conspicuously absent is Nokia, the world leader in phone sales of all types. Remember back when it seemed like every phone you saw was a Nokia? I know. It seems like forever ago. Hopefully the rumors of Nokia planning on switching away from Symbian and MeeGo for Windows Phone 7 or Android OS have some truth to them. Otherwise, I really don’t see the manufacturer ever being a player in the U.S. ever again.

Let me know what you think of the list. If you own a phone on it, are you happy with how it has been performing for you?

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