Christmas prepay handset sales drop by 7.4 per cent

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Statistics reveal handset sales are down over the festive period but figures show smartphones now account for half of prepay purchases

Sales of prepay handsets over the Christmas period fell by 7.4 percent but smartphone sales now account for 50 per cent of this market according to new data published by market research agency GFK.

Year on year sales figures showed the total number of handsets fell from 2.4 million in December 2009 to 2.3 million in the same period last year.

The total sale value fell from £135 million to £133.4 million in the same period.

GFK retail and technology account manager Megan Baldock said: “Although sales have decreased year on year, the share of smartphones within the prepay market has grown to represent 50 per cent of the market value in December 2010, a trend which looks set to continue in 2011.”

Despite these figures Everything Everywhere and Vodafone said they had both enjoyed a strong festive sales period.

Vodafone said sales of smartphones and its own branded handsets in-particular were “very strong”.

Everything Everywhere said said it enjoyed a “significant” increase in sales over Christmas, compared with last year.

Everything Everywhere also said its Orange broadband product had a good year, but declined to give any figures when pressed.

An Everything Everywhere spokesperson said: “Orange has seen record figures in the final two weeks of 2010 for pay as you go products and its pay monthly, mobile broadband and fixed broadband products all performed significantly better than planned.”

T-Mobile also benefited, despite relatively low footfall. “Despite footfall being down year on year throughout December, T-Mobile retail sold more new contract connections than in any other month in its history.

“Contract renewals were significantly up versus the same period in 2009. Pay as you go and other product lines also performed significantly better than planned,” the spokesperson said.

A Vodafone spokesperson told Mobile News: “As you would expect, sales in prepay phones were strong, with Vodafone’s own brand phones showing themselves as the stars.

“We also saw very strong sales performance on pay as you go smartphones – clearly demonstrating consumer demand for internet, data and apps on the best network and taking advantage of our Freebees.”

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