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Gartner: iPhone widens lead over smaller rivals

updated 02:50 pm EST, Thu November 12, 2009

Only RIM, Nokia top smartphone share

Apple has extended its influence on the smartphone market even further, Gartner says in its data for the summer. The combined iPhone platform leapt from 12.9 percent to 17.1 percent of worldwide share in the summer, or third place, where the next-best competitor, HTC, topped out at 6.5 percent after increasing from 4.5 percent a year earlier. Samsung was near-flat and moved up just slightly to 3.2 percent.

Above Apple, RIM extended its own advantage despite Apple's growth, moving BlackBerries from 15.9 percent to 20.8 percent. However, first place Nokia saw its lead shrink below 40 percent, falling from 42.3 percent in summer 2008 to 39.3 percent a year later.

Most of Apple's surge was fueled by the progressive rollout of the iPhone 3GS, where RIM's success hinged on the Curve 8900 in Europe and the Tour in North America. The iPhone's share is considered the most likely to grow as availability in China, additional Canadian and European carriers, and 16 more new countries should improve its reach. RIM already has a relatively broad international scope for its devices.

Smartphone platforms also shifted during the period. Symbian's influence shrank due to Nokia's own decline, while Android's still-small scope has left it at 3.5 percent of the industry, mostly through HTC handsets. Windows Mobile continued to drop as the quarter preceded Windows Mobile 6.5's October 6th debut and more advanced handset like the HTC HD2.

Regardless of cellphone class, Nokia also lost share for the total cellphone market and dropped from 38.2 percent to 36.7 percent while Samsung and LG have both added share but remained steady at second and third place each. Motorola and Sony Ericson lost nearly half of their market share and sit at just 4.5 and 4.3 percent, close enough that Apple is just 2 percent outside of the top five.

by MacNN Staff



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