updated 04:50 pm EST, Tue January 18, 2011
iPhone hits 16.2m while BlackBerry at 14.2m
Apple achieved a milestone in its quarterly results on Tuesday as it confirmed that it had outperformed RIM in two consecutive quarters for the first time in history. It shipped 16.24 million iPhones in the fall, topping the 14.2 million BlackBerry phones from roughly the same period. Apple had already outperformed RIM in the summer but was temporarily leapfrogged until the new results.
The shift quickly put to rest RIM's doubts about Apple's honesty in its results.
RIM has already given guidance that suggests it may reach Apple's levels in its own winter quarter ending in February and thus could draw even once again. However, its estimates also came before word of the Verizon iPhone and anticipated CDMA model launches in other countries, mostly in southeast Asia. The addition could bring as many as 30 million new customers this year and give the iPhone an insurmountable lead.
RIM's sales tallies have for years included both CDMA and GSM BlackBerrys that have sold through multiple US carriers, but Apple will only just be moving past GSM and ending its US iPhone exclusivity. The Canadian phone maker could return to form this year as multiple leaks from its roadmap, such as the Torch 2, have shown it getting much more competitive hardware.
Along with iPhones, Apple set a relatively high barrier in tablets and shipped 7.33 million iPads. RIM has promised a relatively strong launch for the BlackBerry PlayBook and could have as many as one million PlayBooks ready to go for its March launch, but it will at first ship only to North America and only expand its reach later on.