Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wal-Mart and RadioShack Top US Handset Sales

Cellular-News covers a recent report from Telephia that finds "among recent wireless purchasers who bought their phone within the last 6 months at a major U.S. retailer, such as big box and consumer electronics stores, 32% bought their handset at Wal-Mart, as compared to 15% two years ago in Q3 2003, more than doubling in share. Twenty-eight percent bought their phone at RadioShack, as the top two major retailers comprised 60% of the total market share."

Kanishka Agarwal at Telephia said, "With the holiday shopping season swinging into full gear, consumer electronics, such as cell phones and other mobile devices, are predicted to be hot sellers once again. The major retailers, such as the big box and consumer electronics stores, are the first stop for many shoppers."

Top Five Major Retailer Share of Wireless Consumers Who Made a New Handset Purchase During the Past Six Months (U.S.)

RetailerRecent Mobile
Device Purchase Share (%)

Best Buy12%
Circuit City7%

According to Telephia, carrier's retail shops "still attract the highest proportion (47%) of mobile phone buyers" with major retailers and carrier websites posting the second highest share, at 11 percent each. These numbers might be dropping as NPD Group recently issued a report that consumers were down on the handset purchasing experience at carrier stores.

Telephia also found that users of prepaid services were more apt to go to a major retailer over carrier shops with the former having a 40 percent share and the latter a 20 percent shares. Agarwal added "Major retailers are capitalizing on a growing consumer audience who want to purchase cell phones without having to get a credit approval or locking themselves into long-term contracts. This group of consumers has been underserved in the past. The presence of big box and consumer electronic stores in locations serving a broader audience has helped maximize the opportunity to reach this section of the mobile population."

Retail Channel Share of Pre-paid Plan Purchaser (U.S.)

Location Share of Recent Device Purchasers on Prepaid Plans

Major Retail Store 40%
Service Provider Retail Store 20%
Service Provider Online Store 12%
Other 9%
Non-Service Provider Online Store 7%
Local Independent Telecom Store 4%
Grocery Store or Convenience Store 3%
Kiosk in a Mall/Department Store 3%
Outbound Phone Call 2%
Telemarketing/Incoming Phone Call 1%