WASHINGTON, DC -- Wirefly.com, an online leader in one-stop comparison shopping for cell phones and wireless phone plans, today released a list of the five trends that had the biggest impact on cell phone sales in 2005 and trend predictions for 2006.
"The hottest thing in cell phones last year was, without a doubt, the popularity of the Motorola RAZR. Thin was definitely in -- the RAZR was Wirefly's #1 best seller by a bigger margin than held by any phone previously," said Brian Westrick, President of Wirefly.
In 2005, the five most popular trends driving cell phone purchases at Wirefly.com were:
This ultra-thin phone -- available from Cingular, T-Mobile, Alltel and now Verizon Wireless -- struck the right chord with consumers who wanted their phones to make a statement. The Motorola RAZR continues to be a high-tech status symbol.
Phones that include operating systems and popular software applications made mobile computing easier and more convenient for business professionals, who no longer needed to carry around a full-featured laptop to be productive.
The arrival of a variety of third-generation phones boasting high-speed data downloads is raising the expectation today's consumers have of wireless handsets. Not just for talking, many cell phones are portable entertainment centers that include multimedia messaging, music downloads, mobile TV, gaming, and much more.
With data messaging like email and SMS becoming a more significant part of cell phone use, many consumers flocked toward the convenience of QWERTY keyboards integrated into their mobile devices. T-Mobile's Sidekick popularized the QWERTY keyboard phone among younger consumers as well.
Camcorder/ video phones
Manufacturers took the popular camera phone concept and expanded it to include not only megapixel resolution, but also video capture, which allowed users to take and send video clips to friends and family. Video phones were affordable enough to penetrate the mainstream very quickly.
Wirefly offers a more complete inventory of cell phone devices and a broader selection of carrier rate plans than traditional retail stores are able to offer. This gives customers a real choice in selecting the phone and plan that is best for them.
"As the largest online activations agent for all major carriers, Wirefly has a unique view of the trends driving our industry, and we predict continued popularity of the things that made 2005 a remarkable year. But ours is a very dynamic market and this coming year is going to see a new set of trends driving people to switch or upgrade their cell phones and plans," said Wirefly's Westrick.
Wirefly predicts big trends for 2006 are going to include:
Music and mobile TV phones
A bigger selection of smartphones with more robust operating systems
Phones designed for children
Expanded GPS services
Increased comfort ordering services online and expansion of market share by authorized online
agents such as Wirefly
Wirefly.com is America’s trusted source for cell phones, wireless service plans and wireless accessories. Owned and operated by Simplexity, Wirefly is the internet’s leading authorized dealer for every major cellular carrier in the U.S. Wirefly also offers discounts and services not available in retail wireless stores, including real-time online order status and tracking, and the lowest prices – online or anywhere else -- on cell phone devices from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, LG, BlackBerry and many other cell phone handset manufacturers. Wirefly.com has been named Best of the Web by Forbes magazine as the “best all-around number portability portal” and “Best in Overall Customer Experience” by Keynote Performance Systems. For more information on Wirefly, its wireless products and its services, visit Wirefly.com.
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