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Apple's 2+ year old iPhone 3GS is still selling strong

Apple's iPhone 3GS may be showing a few grey hairs on its chin (at least in terms of the lifespan of the average smartphone), but it's still a big seller in the United States according to The NDP Group. The market research firm just released its smartphone handset sales figures for the fourth quarter which show that the Apple iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS were the #1 and #2 bestselling smartphones for the third quarter.
Here are the top five smartphones:
  1. Apple iPhone 4
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. Motorola Droid 3
  5. Samsung Intensity II
NPD's research also showed that the average selling price for smartphones (on contract) declined to $135 during Q3.

Apple's 8GB iPhone 3GS was selling for $99 with a two-year contract until the launch of the iPhone 4S. Now the phone is available for free with a two-year contract while the 8GB iPhone 4 has moved into the $99 spot.

Source: The NPD Group

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The death ofthe spec
By Tony Swash on 11/14/2011 6:16:59 PM , Rating: 1
This is an interesting and, I think, relevant article.

RE: The death ofthe spec
By its tom hanks on 11/14/2011 7:40:43 PM , Rating: 3
In other words, the way you compete in computing now is to do so by focusing on things that human beings understand.

some of us still understand specs and don't just buy what a certain company tells us we have to buy or we wont be cool.

RE: The death ofthe spec
By themaster08 on 11/15/2011 3:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, since the only differences between the iPhone 4 and 4S are specs....

RE: The death ofthe spec
By Tony Swash on 11/15/2011 7:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, since the only differences between the iPhone 4 and 4S are specs....

Exactly - which is why I suspect that few iPhone 4 users will be buying iPhone 4s. Whats matters is the palpable difference in function or feature. Back in the PC days a jump of one third in processor speed often made a palpable difference in actual use. For most iPhone 4 users (except real game heads) the increase in processor speed in the 4s is probably invisible. On the other hand for someone such as myself the jump from the 3gs to the 4s was a huge improvement in actual use, the camera alone is a reason for me to upgrade.

But what masters in all of this how things really perform. A faster process in an Android device won't overcome the tendency for the UI to be laggy - that's a feature of the OS - and cramming more megapixels into a phone's camera sensor won't compensate for the fact that the it's slow in use compared to, say, a 4s camera or that the images are not as pleasing.

People tend to have a more intimate relationship to devices so feel and form and sweetness of use will all count more than simple specs. Spec charts will have their use but they mean a lot less.

Gruber at Daring Fireball says it well:

Spec-based reviews of computers and gadgets are inherently flawed, a relic of an era that’s already gone. Movie reviews are about what the movie is like to watch. Is it enjoyable, is it entertaining, does it look and sound good? Imagine a movie review based on specs, where you gave points for how long it was, whether the photography is in focus, deduct points for continuity errors in the story, and then out comes a number like “7.5/10”, with little to no mention about, you know, whether the movie was effective as a piece of art.

But I wouldn’t argue that specs are “meaningless”. It’s just that they’re an implementation detail. Specs are something the device makers worry about insofar as how they affect the experience of using the device. Just like how focal length and lens aperture are something the cinematographer worries about insofar as how they affect what the viewer will see on screen.

RE: The death ofthe spec
By Onimuto on 11/15/2011 10:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
which is why I suspect that few iPhone 4 users

Few? You mean the majority of iphone 4 users. i Highly doubt the greater majority was willing to pay full price for an iphone 4s.
After using and iphone 4s and comparing it to my 4 it was about as useless as tits on a boar hog. Unless it was a 64gig modle.
people who buy every singel iphone model are the Few.

RE: The death ofthe spec
By semiconshawn on 11/16/2011 8:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
The 4S is worth $600 for this feature alone....."wake me up in 30 minutes"......."your alarm is now set for 8:09 am".

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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