Friday, December 16, 2005

Getting the Gift of Gab – and More

Wireless Week writes about the holiday gift-giving season and the hopes of network operators that cellphones will make it to top of wishlists. However, according to research by NPD Group "only a small percentage of consumers actually plan to purchase a wireless phone as a gift this holiday season."

NPD found that "only 3 percent of consumers say they are going to give a cellular phone as a gift." Clint Wheelock at NPD said, "Cell phones were at the bottom of the list in terms of things people plan to give as gifts. Yet we know there's a huge spike in volume of cell phone purchases."

Wheelock attributed this phenomenon to the increase number of carrier promotions and advertising during the holiday season, which prompts "many consumers to upgrade their own phones, but not necessarily to give phones to others."

The articles looks at the top selling phones and carrier promotions this holiday season. According to U.S. research firm Compete, the Razr GSM version is number one on the "Top 10 handsets consumers are shopping for online." Miro Kazakoff at Competecompiled said, "Unique phones with distinct branding can draw consumer attention among the sea of the letters and numbers that usually identify phones."

Compete's research also noted that "three of the top 10 handsets have music capabilities – the Nokia 6101 and Nokia 6102 are equipped with an FM radio. The LG VX9800 has a built-in MP3 player."

Popular Phones (most viewed handsets offered online from the Big 5 carriers. (Oct. 16 – Nov. 12)

1. Motorola RAZR (Cingular, T-Mobile)
2. Nokia 6102 (Cingular)
3. Samsung X497 (Cingular)
4. LG C1500 (Cingular)
5. Audiovox 8910 (Verizon Wireless)
6. Danger's Sidekick II (T-Mobile)
7. Nokia 6101 (T-Mobile)
8. Samsung e335 (T-Mobile)
9. LG C2000 (Cingular)
10. LG VX9800 (Verizon Wireless)

Source: Compete