Device Domination: Two years old, the iPhone 3GS still outsells every mobile phone… except the iPhone 4

The newest gadgets aren’t always the most popular.

It takes a lot for people to consider buying a two-year old device in this hyper-competitive market, but Apple has managed just that—its 26-month-young smartphone, not even the newest generation of the device, is still the second-best selling device in the U.S.

The first? Its successor, of course—the iPhone 4.

A report by the NPD Group revealed that while Android has claimed one half of America’s smartphone market (and iOS just 29%), Apple still completely dominates when it comes down to individual phone sales. If Android had as few hardware models as Apple, it would probably still be neck-and-neck with RIM’s BlackBerrys for marketshare and the iPhone would be looking like the iPad does in the tablet space.

Only recently—with the iPhone 5 (or 4S) release looming—has the 3GS become free on a three-year contract (compare this to many Android devices that launch with this price tag). In America, it’s still $49 and $9 for a refurbished edition. This means people have been willingly forking money upfront for a two-year-old smartphone that has a newer version out. 

Of course, this in the U.S., where the iPhone 4 sells for a more on full-term deals than here in Canada, namely because our contracts are three years and theirs can be just two. So the iPhone 3GS may not be quite as hot a ticket item as there, but something tells me it still has the number two position on lockdown…

…until the next iPhone becomes available, that is.