updated 11:40 am EST, Tue December 22, 2009
Apple most used while LG, RIM close behind
The iPhone 3G was the most frequently used phone for going online for nearly all of the year, the researchers at Nielsen report. About 4 percent of all US active cellphone owners used Apple's 2008 smartphone to get online between January and October. Its results were helped both by the iPhone 3G having sold by itself for the first half of the year and continuing on as a $99 model after the iPhone 3GS became available in June.
It held a slight lead over the BlackBerry Curve 8300 line, which controlled 3.7 percent of the active market, but was well ahead of the 2.3 percent for the now four year old Motorola RAZR V3.
Apple isn't the leader as a brand. Verizon's heavy use of LG has also helped the Korean company get 6.4 percent of the sphere through phones like the enV2, Voyager and Dare. Use of the BlackBerry Storm (1.4 percent) and Pearl (1.2 percent) are enough to give RIM's smartphones 6.3 percent when combined.
This difference between single-model and absolute share is likely to revolve around choice of carriers. The iPhone has in many cases saved AT&T from declines through its sheer volume of sales, but the exclusivity has hurt Apple's standing where LG and RIM have phones on all four carriers, guaranteeing that they can make up for reduced demand in one carrier through popularity at another.