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Driven by Smartphones, US Prepaid Growth Continues, Hits 100 Million, 30% Market Share

A recent report from wireless industry analyst Chetan Sharma confirms that the US prepaid market is growing rapidly. US prepaid subscriptions grew by 12% in the last 12 months to exceed 100 million for the first time. Sprint's Boost and Virgin Mobile brands were the growth leaders in the prepaid segment. During the same period overall postpaid subscriptions didn't grow at all.

The report goes on to say that 70% of all phones sold in the last 12 months were smartphones and that smartphones now account for 50% of all US mobile phones. A lot of this smartphone growth also came from prepaid. According to a different report from NPD Group, prepaid smartphones sales grew by 91% year over year.

To further drive home the point that prepaid smartphones are a hot market, during the Apple/Samsung patent trial, Samsung disclosed that the Samsung Galaxy Prevail (image), which is sold primarily as a Boost Mobile prepaid phone, was the number one selling Samsung Android phone in the period from June, 2010 to July, 2012.

Sources: Chetan SharmaNPD Group via GigaOm

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  1. I still have a hard time believing the market went from 20 percent of all wireless subs to one third the population of the entire United States in two short years.

    The recession has a lot to do with it. I don't think a lot of Americans want to give up their "free" or cheap phone with the two year contract. We're so shortsighted in this country , nobody ever sees the catch of a contract . The pretty baubles called iphones, Androids and smartphones hypnotize everyone though it will be obsolete in half the length of the contract...lol

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