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QWERTY keyboard phone sales reveal mobile email popularity


Mobile email is on the rise. Smartphones with a QWERTY keyboard experienced the greatest year-over-year rise in sales. In the third quarter of 2008, 30% of handsets were sold with this feature, compared with just 11% in the third quarter of 2007, according to NPD Group, a market research firm for the wireless industry.

As manufacturers compete with one another to gain market share amongst business users, there is now a much broader range of devices offering QWERTY keyboards, mobile email and other advanced features, than there was a year ago.

Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for NPD, believes there has been "a watershed shift in handset design from fashion to fashionable functionality". He said that four of the five best-selling handsets in the third quarter of this year were optimised for messaging and other advanced Internet features.

More than 43% of handset buyers said they needed a camera on their phone while 36% wanted the ability to send and receive text messages. More than 83% of phones purchased were Bluetooth enabled and 70% of phones purchased in Q3 were able to play music.

The leading handset purchased by American adult consumers in Q3 was Apple`s iPhone 3G.


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