New iPhones Drive Record Accessory Sales, According To The NPD Group

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, OCT 10, 2014 –U.S. mobile phone accessory sales reached record levels following the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Accessory sales for the two weeks after the launch were 43 percent higher than the two weeks prior, reaching $249 million, according to The NPD Group Weekly Tracking Service.

Accessory sales for the new iPhones also far exceeded sales after the iPhone 5s and 5c launches last year.  Mobile phone accessory sales after last year’s launch were $195 million which was only a 17 percent increase over the prior two weeks.

“New iPhone form factors always provide a short-term boost to traffic and volume to the consumer electronics market, but it’s the accessory purchases that keep the momentum going,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group. “Case sales specifically, and accessory sales in general, remain an excellent proxy in measuring the long-term demand for a phone.”

The new iPhones were a big draw for protective accessories. Screen protector revenue increased 120 percent versus the pre-launch period, and cases increased 78 percent in revenue and 63 percent in units.  Other accessory categories saw growth, but not near the levels of the protection devices; revenue for mobile power products grew 5 percent, headphones with microphones were up 10 percent, and Bluetooth speakers increased 5 percent.

The initial accessory sales burst still has a lot of room to run. According to NPD’s new Smartphone Accessory Inventory Report 41 percent of iPhone buyers say they purchase accessories when they buy the phone, but 58 percent buy their accessories after they have left the store.  In addition, iPhone buyers spend nearly double after they leave the store as they did during their initial purchase.

“The new iPhone releases, and the subsequent mobile accessory purchases that result from them, are one of the key opportunities helping to set the stage for a strong fourth quarter and holiday season,” said Baker


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