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BlackBerry edges iPhone 3GS in spring phone sales

updated 08:55 am EDT, Wed August 5, 2009

IDC Spring US Sphone Sales

Despite a major phone launch, Apple's iPhone lineup was just edged out by Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices in US sales during the spring, according to IDC. Despite a high profile launch, the iPhone 3GS came in second while the BlackBerry Curve series took the lead. Of the top five, three were BlackBerries and included the original Pearl in third place as well as the AT&T-only Bold in fifth place. Apple's iPhone 3G came in fourth.

Below these were predominantly less popular operating systems. Although an achievement for a company whose smartphone sales have dropped rapidly in recent quarters, Palm's Pre only managed eighth place and was eclipsed by the Android-based T-Mobile G1 in seventh. RIM's one-time iPhone rival the BlackBerry Storm only reached sixth place, while HTC's Windows Mobile-running Touch Pro and Touch Diamond were tenth and ninth respectively.

IDC hasn't provided specific sales numbers for the devices and therefore makes it difficult to gauge a leader by brand. RIM' most recent quarter ended in May, a month before the iPhone 3GS launch and a price cut on the iPhone 3G. Apple's quarter also represents an incomplete picture, as AT&T activated 2.4 million iPhones between April and June but could only register less than two weeks of iPhone 3GS sales and three weeks of price-reduced iPhone 3G models. Apple has struggled to keep up with high demand for the 3GS since shortly after launch.

Much of RIM's apparent advantage is understood by IDC to stem from distribution. The Curve 8300 and Pearl are available at every major US carrier while the 8900 is available through both AT&T and T-Mobile. In comparison, the iPhone, G1, Pre and Storm are only available at one carrier each. The same explanations aren't given for the Windows Mobile phones, which fared poorly in spite of being available through at least two larger carriers. The aging foundations of the Microsoft OS, which leave it with poorer media and web features, may have contributed to its sales shortfall.

The chart nonetheless shows continued dominance by both Apple and RIM and has touchscreen models increasingly commanding the American smartphone business with seven out of the top ten phones relying mostly, if not almost exclusively, on touch input.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. eddd

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2001

    +5

    Completely meaningless

    It's well documented that Apple's sales fell off before the 3GS launch. And this "report" only includes two weeks of 3GS sales.

    Data that's been sensationalized to fabricate an interesting story. How tired I am of this.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -1

    excuses excuses

    Its completely meaningless? You act like the sole purpose of a report should be to determine whether apple sold more phones than anyone else.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, I can't remember, but didn't the iphone 3g start selling at its reduced rate from the date of the announcement? Shouldn't that have increased sales?

    Apple can't compete with RIM with only two phones on one carrier. Get real.

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005

    +1

    End Exclusivity

    Granted Apple is making a boat load on these phones, thing is though they're really sacrificing market share staying with ATT, unless ATT is paying double for each phone what verizon would pay for one, they really can't justify this. They should at least have the iPhone 3G on Tmobile by now or something.

  1. twodales

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2009

    +1

    @luckyday

    The iPhone 3G was only reduced to $99 after the WWDC. I think having the second best selling device for the quarter with only two weeks worth of sales AND with only one carrier means that Apple will blow Rim out of the water once it is sold by other Telcos

  1. andrewbw

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2001

    +3

    grow up

    Some of you have way, way too much individual emotion invested in Apple not only succeeding, but dominating. Apple, a company that didn't even have a cell phone product three years ago, now sells two of the top five handsets in the U.S. How is this in any way a problem? No, instead it must be either "sensationalized data" or "just wait until NEXT quarter, THEN Apple will dominate!" Cripes.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -3

    @twodales

    Apple's products market like a blockbuster movie. Big sales for the first few weeks, then they drop significantly. When you have a product that centers around being cool, the consumer has no choice but to obtain it when it first comes out.

    There will still be apple sales, but there are several huge RIM devices coming out next quarter on all carriers. Not to mention, apple really only has one phone in different versions. They both only appeal to people that don't need a keyboard, and don't work at a medium to large corp that requires email access.

  1. twodales

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2009

    +3

    @luckyday

    The 3gs continues to sell well with periodic shortages two months after launch. Don't get your point about email access or working at a large corp since iPhone is supported by our very large company. The lack of a keyboard is another odd thing to say since I can type very quickly (especially in landscape). To each his own I guess. I do however, find it wildly ironic that one of my friends with a Blackberry always ask me to go on the internet to look things up since his browser sucks

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -1

    @twodales

    It doesn't matter what you can do, or what your company does. There is a large percentage of the population that, for the time being, does not want a purely touchscreen phone. Its amazing that they still don't want one, despite the fact that "twodales" on macnn can type quickly. Likewise, many large corporations do not support activesync. Blackberry can connect to these corporate email servers through OWA, regardless of whether a blackberry exchange server has been set up. This is a big deal for many.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said two each his own. That's why blackberry will sell more phones. Because there are several substantially different phones to appeal to a wide number of consumers.

    And congrats on ur iphone's internet. You are now your friend's secretary. I'll be the first to admit that the browser on the iphone is much better than the blackberry. But there are very few sites I can't see properly, and there are very few times when I need to see a webpage while I'm not in front of a computer.

    From a media standpoint, the iphone is a much better device. The apps are great (although many are c***) and the OS is simple and quick... BUT the device still lacks in many areas which are significant to many consumers. I'm better off with a blackberry and an ipod touch.

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +2

    It really doesn't matter

    as long as Apple continues to bring in high profit margins and more customers even if they just stay on one carrier. Profits are everything when it comes to building a business. That AT&T exclusivity is a huge moneymaker for Apple even if it does slow down iPhone market share. It's good that RIM is selling smartphones, they've been around long enough to have built a good customer base. If RIM's ten models or so of BlackBerry's are beating out three of Apple's models, then more power to RIM. Let each do their own thing and let Apple pull in the huge profits. We'll see which company does better financially for the entire year.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -2

    iphonerulez

    Profits are everything when it comes to building a business? You're obviously not a business man (or woman). Profit is more closely related to maintaining a business. Revenue on the other hand plays a larger part in building a business.

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