updated 12:35 pm EST, Wed March 10, 2010
iPhone now a quarter of all smartphones
RIM's BlackBerry line managed to hold off Apple to claim the top spot for US smartphone market share at the start of the year, new comScore data shows. The BlackBerry line only grew its share slightly but held on to exactly 43 percent of the field. Apple passed a symbolic milestone and now has more than a quarter of the entire market, but its iPhone sales grew at a slower rate and put it at 25.1 percent.
The surge in Android's popularity due to the Motorola Droid helped give Google the largest single gain in the top five. Collectively, all Android phones leapt from an average of just 2.8 percent share in the late summer to 7.1 percent by January. Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Palm's mixed PalmOS and webOS shares were the only ones to face decline as they dropped to 15.7 percent (third place) and 5.7 percent (fifth) respectively over the same timeframe.
Motorola has also kept the title of the top overall cellphone maker, but the Droid wasn't enough to prevent a slight drop to 22.9 percent. RIM's lead in smartphones made it the fastest riser in the total phone arena, but it claimed just 7.8 percent. Mid-rank competitors LG, Samsung and Nokia were largely flat.
Analysts at Comscore didn't attempt to directly explain all moves in share, but RIM was helped by its continued deals with every major North American carrier as well as continuing to update its smartphone lines, including the low-cost Curve 8520 and the flagship Storm2. Apple's improvement is likely to have come at the expenses of Microsoft and Palm as customers abandoned the aging Windows Mobile and PalmOS platforms for iPhones rather than either switch to webOS or wait for Windows Phone 7.