Thursday, June 15, 2006

Compete: Which Handset Will Beachgoers Sport This Summer?

Compete lists the Top Ten most shopped for phones in May, which "featured a combination of frequent favorites, free phones and a little more color than usual. Thin remains in, as does Bluetooth, unique form factors, and, of course, the good old reliable free clamshell."

The firm found that "half of the devices on the Top Ten list are available for free from major carriers online. In December, not a single Top Ten handset was free. Except in cases where unique styling (e.g. color or form factor) justifies a premium, consumers appear to have retreated back to a preference for free phones."

The Motorola (MOT) RAZR continued its market dominance as was helped by the addition of color as "the Pink RAZRs kept interest in the model well above that of all challengers."

Compete pointed out that the RAZR wasn't the only handset to benefit from a color change. "Both the PEBL and the Sidekick attracted a significant portion of their interest from shoppers considering multiple colors or styles. T-Mobile introduced green, blue and orange versions of the original black model PEBL in May, while the Sidekick II has been generating substantial interest from limited edition launches of the Pink Juicy Couture and Black Mr. Cartoon versions for several months now."

Competed pointed out that "all of phones on this month’s list have some sort of unique form factor or functionality differentiation except for the free phones. The RAZR and T509 both have slim designs. The PEBL features its unique hinge and finish, while the Sony Ericsson W600i and Sidekick II both sport swivel form factors and unique music and communications features, respectively."