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Apple persists as third-largest smartphone maker

updated 12:30 pm EDT, Wed August 12, 2009

Gartner on iPhone sales

Apple has managed to hold on to its position as the third-largest smartphone maker in the world, says Gartner. The firm's research director, Carolina Milanesi, notes that Apple sold over 5.4 million iPhones in Q209, many times the 892,000 sold in the same quarter of 2008; the difference represents a greater growth than for any other smartphone company. By the end of the 2009 quarter, the business had reached 13.3 percent of worldwide sales. A third-place position was first achieved in Q308, on the back of much wider international distribution.

The industry leader remains Nokia, which though having slipped in marketshare from 47.4 to 45 percent year-over-year, has continued to increase sales from 15.2 million phones to 18.4. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has taken second place, with 7.6 million units and 18.7 percent of the market. Fourth and fifth place in the rankings are HTC and Fujitsu, trailed by a collection of others.

Apple is said to be benefiting from continued international expansion, as well a cheaper iPhone 3G, now priced at $99. The iPhone 3GS could also contribute to growing sales numbers, but only in the second half of the year, Gartner comments. The global recession is meanwhile having less of an impact that feared, as shoppers alternately choose lower-end phones, or go for more expensive models to find more value. Many buyers are thought to be interested in replacing older devices with ones using touchscreens or QWERTY keyboards.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    With only one model!

    O.K, well, technically, they have 2 models available right now with the older 3G still available, but compare that to all the other competitors that have at least a half a dozen different models out there. The iPhone is far and away the most popular single model smart phone available!

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can you imagine how

    easy it is for Apple to deal with parts and inventory with just a couple of models to deal with? Basically just two models a year.

    I don't even want to think of what RIM or Nokia have to deal with in the way of inventory. RIM comes out with a new model BlackBerry every couple of months. Nokia, forget about it, maybe dozens of models. Different manuals accessories and packaging for each.

    That's no way to run an efficient assembly line. Apple must be saving millions on that stuff.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: one model

    Um, five models. 3G, and white and black iphones at 16 and 32 GB in size.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "That's no way to run an efficient assembly line. Apple must be saving millions on that stuff."

    Does apple just make phones? What about computers (how many models), ipods (how many models?), keyboards, software... In other words, RIM actually has much fewer products than Apple.

    So what you're saying is that apple can run an efficient assembly line producing dozens of extremely different products, but RIM can't because they aren't different enough?

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Keep in mind that this isn't the market share of people walking around with apple vs. rim vs. nokia. Its the marketshare of phones sold in 2nd quarter 2009.

    In reality, there are much more people walking around carrying blackberries and nokia phones. Prior to June, 2008 there was no iphone, and therefore, while there are many people walking around with 2 year old blackberries and nokia phones, there is nobody walking around with a 2 year old iphone.

  1. Le Flaneur

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Prior to June 2007 there was no iPhone.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Assembly lines

    That's no way to run an efficient assembly line. Apple must be saving millions on that stuff.

    Apple doesn't run the assembly line. They contract all that stuff out to China.

    And Dell is the company that made JIT assembly the next-big-thing, what with them building the computers as they were ordered, and not holding inventory of anything. And yet they were able to offer hundreds/thousands of varying types of products.

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