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Gartner: Apple 4th largest in phones as Nokia, Samsung drop

updated 10:30 am EDT, Thu August 11, 2011

Gartner shows iPhone up to 4th in all cellphones

Apple is now the fourth-largest cellphone maker in the world, Gartner said in its own roundup of mobile market share figures. The iPhone's market share of real, end-user sales shot up almost 92 percent from year to year to give it 4.6 percent, moving it ahead of not just RIM but Motorola and Sony Ericsson, all three of which lost share. Apple's rise also widened its leads over ZTE, HTC, and Huawei, who despite their gains weren't growing as quickly.

Nokia and Samsung were both at the top but down substantially in this view, to 22.8 percent and 16.3 percent each. Both have been slow to adapt to smartphones and weren't growing smartphones quickly enough to offset the difference.

The new data also underscored Nokia's dethroning in smartphones. Android's combined share versus the Nokia-dominated Symbian inverted almost completely over a year ago, moving from 17.2 percent versus 40.9 percent to a reversed 43.4 percent to 22.1 percent. Apple was still making large strides in market share, though, and moved up over four points to 18.2 percent, making it entirely likely that the iPhone would eclipse Symbian and therefore Nokia in on-the-ground sales within the next few months.

The period was already known to be poor for RIM, whose BlackBerry lost more than a third of its share to hit 11.7 percent. Most of the damage was still inflicted on Microsoft. Windows Mobile and Windows Phone lost two thirds of their combined share to leave it with 1.6 percent, or 1.7 million phones. Its drop was steep enough that even Bada, Samsung's self-developed, minority OS behind phones like the Wave, was now larger in the smartphone world at 1.9 percent share.

Analysts at Gartner disagreed openly with Microsoft's and Nokia's views that the app model was outdated and credited the rises of Android and the iPhone directly to the things Microsoft and Nokia dismissed. They succeeded because of the app selection and had usability that their owners were happy with.

The study also provided some insight into Apple's success in China: while market share in the area isn't normally discussed, Apple was now large enough to be the seventh-biggest cellphone maker in the country and the third-largest in smartphones. Share both in China and the world was likely to change dramatically as Apple finally launched the iPhone 5 in the near future.

by MacNN Staff



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