updated 12:30 pm EST, Thu February 4, 2010
IDC says Apple near RIM
Apple's share of the smartphone market has drawn much closer to that of BlackBerry creator RIM in the past year, IDC found in a study today. Apple had the fastest growth of all major smartphone makers and jumped from 11.2 percent in late 2008 to 16 percent in late 2009. Its shipments also almost exactly doubled from 4.4 million iPhones a year ago to 8.7 million in the fall.
Despite shipping about 10.7 million BlackBerries, a large jump from about 7.6 million, RIM's market share stayed largely flat at 19.6 percent. Nokia felt the same effect as its leading share actually dropped slightly to 38.2 percent even though it shipped more than a third more phones, at 20.8 million.
The success of the Droid helped Motorola see a rare gain in smartphone share. It took 4.6 percent of the market (2.5 million phones) and actually overtook HTC, whose continued partial dependence on Windows Mobile contributed to a drop to 4.4 percent even as it shipped slightly more hardware.
For all of 2009, the positions of the top three were unchanged and saw Nokia, RIM and Apple get 38.9, 19.8 and 14.4 percent respectively. HTC held on to fourth place, or 8.1 percent, and Samsung was fifth with 5.7 percent as Motorola had few real smartphone options until the last few months.
Smartphones represented 174.2 million of the total phones shipped in 2009, or about 15.4 percent. The figure is a boost from 12.7 percent in 2008 and is expected to be topped once again in 2010. Besides simple demand, the future performance is expected to get help from new versions of Symbian and Windows Mobile that are centered around touch.