Fewer Americans are buying new ear candy these days than they were a year ago, according to a newly-released NPD survey -- but those that are still dropping coin are dropping more of it. An estimated 28 million cellphones came off shelves and into pockets in the second quarter of 2008, down a solid 13 percent year over year, but the increase in average handset price was nearly enough to offset the drop in volume altogether. Particularly notable was the fact that smartphone sales doubled in the past year, with full QWERTY models seeing the biggest gains; it's probably still a bit early to sound the dumbphone's death knell, but could it be on the horizon?

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US phone consumers: buying less, paying more