updated 05:20 pm EDT, Tue July 19, 2011
Apple spring 2011 widens gap with RIM
Apple as part of its spring results saw its mobile device sales grow even further in a possibly significant blow to RIM and smaller rivals. It shipped 20.34 million iPhones, a nearly ten percent gain from the winter and 142 percent compared to a year earlier. A full quarter of Verizon iPhone sales, along with a kick from the white iPhone, have been credited for the gain in a period when iPhone sales usually drop and when no new model was imminent.
The results run in stark opposition to Apple's largest individual North American rival, RIM. Although the quarters don't directly overlap, BlackBerry sales fell to 13.2 million in its own spring quarter. The 11.4 percent drop was a near equal ratio to Apple's gain and is likely to be compounded by a poor summer. RIM has already predicted shipping just 11 million to 12.5 million BlackBerrys.
RIM is counting on a bounce back from BlackBerry 7 phones later this year and its 2012 release of QNX-based "superphones." The firm has nonetheless spent roughly a year behind Apple in phone sales and may face a steep challenge ever regaining its previous position.
Apple also fulfilled rumors and shipped 9.25 million iPads. The sum is roughly twice as much as what it shipped just in the winter and confirms company promises that it was only limited by its early production runs. The shipments make the iPad Apple's second largest hardware by volume, pushing it past the iPod.
Many of Apple's rivals have yet to report their quarters but now face stiffer resistance. RIM shipped 500,000 PlayBooks in spring and is rumored to have cut its goals by at least half after not getting the sales it had presumed it would have. Most Android tablet makers have sold only a few hundred thousand each and aren't yet expected to grow significantly during the summer.