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Prepaid smartphone sale surges, may catch up to subsidized model in a few years

Prepaid smartphones are catching up to post-paid in terms of sale, revealing that the traditional subsidized model are becoming less and less popular amongst mobile consumers.

According to statistics from the NPD market researcher, sales of prepaid smartphone increased from 21 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2013.  The 11 percent increase not only signals the popularization of the prepaid model, but also the widespread availability of affordable smartphones.

“For consumers looking at prepaid phones today, value does no equate with finding phones that are cheap or obsolete,” said Stephen Baker, NPD’s Vice President.  “In fact, the Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S, two of the top five prepaid smartphone models in 2013, were among the top-selling phones overall just one year earlier.”

Samsung has spent huge amounts of marketing dollars on promoting its mobile products, so it doesn’t surprise any of us that the South Korea-based firm leads with 32 percent of the overall prepaid market.  Coming in second is LG, another South Korea-based company, with 22 percent.  Apple, though, is in fourth place with just 8 percent of the total market share. 

For developed markets, the prepaid model has blossomed into a viable business, and only time will tell if it can surpass the traditional subsidized method.  Globally, the prepaid method will play a significant role in the growth of smartphone.  As incomes remain inconsistent for many people around the world, the prepaid model will undoubtedly be the best option for those who want to have a smartphone.

Source: NPD via cnet

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