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Cellphone Unit Sales in First Quarter Were "Weakest in Years"

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All Things D: In a ho-hum quarter without the launch of a new iPhone, sales of smartphones and other mobile phones declined precipitously. "A Jefferies proprietary handset survey suggests volume expectations for [the first quarter] are the weakest in years, in line with our view that net adds are significantly lower in the quarter after an iPhone launch," wrote Jeffries & Co. analyst Thomas Seitz. "We believe there is a distinct possibility that Q1 could be the first time that the postpaid market, as a whole, loses subscribers."

Most Americans already have a cellphone, making it difficult for carriers to add new users, and the growth rate for smartphone adoption is beginning to slow.

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