updated 10:35 am EDT, Wed May 20, 2009
Gartner Phone Share Q1 09
Apple has managed to more than double its smartphone market share from year to year in the first quarter of 2009, according to Gartner data. iPhones jumped from 5.3 percent of the industry in early 2008 to 10.8 percent a year later. The jump has made Apple the third-largest smartphone maker in the world and gives it twice as much share as HTC, which had just 5.4 percent of the market and grew slowly even with the launch of Android phones.
Research in Motion maintained its second-place position but grew more slowly over the same timeframe, growing roughly by half from 13.3 percent in early 2008 to 19.9 percent. Many of the gains came at the expense of Nokia, whose Symbian S60 phones dropped from 45.1 percent of the smartphone market to 41.2 percent. Fujitsu and other smaller manufacturers, most of which use Windows Mobile, also bore most of the decrease.
In the broader cellphone business, neither Apple nor RIM broke into the top five, though the data shows Korean manufacturers LG and Samsung making rapid gains while other manufacturers suffered. These two claimed third and second respectively at 9.9 percent and 19.1 percent while top-ranked Nokia fell from 39.1 percent to 36.2 percent in the space of a year. Those with poor smartphone lineups plummeted in the standings; Motorola dropped from 10.2 percent of the market to just 6.2 percent and fifth place, and Sony Ericsson slipped from 7.5 percent to 5.4 percent.
Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza explains that much of the growth in smartphones came directly from touchscreen devices like Apple's, though the reasons why depended on the category. While high-end handsets like the iPhone, the Samsung Tocco and LG Arena made the touchscreen essential for Internet use and media playback, mid-range phones often incorporate the feature for its own sake.
As a whole, the market shrunk year-over-year to 269.1 million phones sold but still showed signs of recovery compared to fall 2008. Analysts at Gartner expect the market to improve and say most of the early recovery comes from China and North America.