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iPhone hits 17% smartphone share, passed by BlackBerry

updated 12:45 pm EST, Fri November 6, 2009

IDC Q3 2009 phone share results live

Apple gained market share in the summer but slipped in the face of tougher competition, according to new IDC data. The iPhone's share of smartphones grew from 16.6 percent to 17.1 percent during the quarter but was overtaken by Research in Motion's record BlackBerry sales, which pushed it above Apple from 14.6 percent to 19 percent. The reversal is credited to the BlackBerry's wider distribution and the launch of a pair of key phones, the Tour and the Curve 8520.

Apple didn't have as wide a distribution, owing partly to the staggered rollout of the iPhone 3GS during the period, and didn't have any footprint in key countries until the fall. It only just released the iPhone in China at the end of October.

Nokia and HTC also made surprise but slight gains to reach 37.9 percent and 5.6 percent respectively. Samsung is the only major brand to have lost share and dropped to 3.5 percent. The Nokia and HTC gains are attributed to the popularity of individual devices like the N97 and Magic (myTouch 3G).

The most significant losses were for other, smaller smartphone manufacturers, most of whom use Windows Mobile. HTC is the world's largest Windows Mobile manufacturer but has made a heavy investment into Android devices.

Overall, the market showed a surprise 4.2 percent boost overall, to 43.3 million units, and suggests that the world economic slump has had little effect on smartphones versus the wider cellphone market.

By Electronista Staff


  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    BB could be higher

    Next up, Buy one POS BB get two more BB POS FREE!

  1. c4rlob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009


    more phones in more countries

    So it took multiple phones in multiple countries for Blackberry to barely pass Apple's one iPhone? Take a bow Blackberry.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    Be prepared

    to lose more market share as Android takes over. This is only the beginning.

    Apple's lead was short lived as it will be fighting for leftover scraps with WinMo and Symbian.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    One word.


  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Damn! RIM is really getting the shaft...

    The more BlackBerrys that RIM is selling it's stock price is dropping even faster. Now that's a tough deal for any company to handle. It looks like RIM is really dead no matter how many smartphones they sell. Market share doesn't seem to be a good indicator of how well a company is doing nowadays.

    Forget Droid and Android in general. The Motorola Droid is likely to be a dismal failure. They may flood the market in numbers, but no companies will make any money from selling Android handsets. Google won't make a cent from Android and will also likely lose money trying to support the platform. Every Android cellphone maker will be fighting each other for market share and buyers will be so confused with what Android device to buy that they'll probably just run screaming to Apple and the iPhone.

  1. Wingsy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    Wasn't It a Supply Issue?

    I thought the relatively weak iPhone share gains were due to a supply issue, at least according to Apple. Wonder why the article just assumed it was due to competition? Anyway, now that Apple says the supply will now or will soon meet the demand, let's see what happens next quarter.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003



    It was a foxconn supply issue combined with increased outlets (less product spread over more area) that slowed iPhone 3Gs sales. I expect this xmas season iPhone 3Gs will effectively kill the droid and the ... forgot its name.. (seriously i forgot) oh yea Palm pre.

    - A

  1. dthree

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 1999


    Beating the wrong one

    Windows mobile is the dead horse here. Once HTC drops it and goes all-android, Microsoft should just cut their losses and run.

  1. BryceA


    Joined: Nov 2009


    smartphone competition

    The Eris will have the Android OS in common, and little else. The idea is to boost sales for smartphones, as fewer people can justify same day loans for something you really don't need these days. The Motorola Droid started an ad war with the iPhone, and now that the Droid, which has a mail in rebate to bring the price down to $199, will also release the Verizon Droid Eris, a less expansive version of the Droid for about half the price.

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