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The Blackberry Curve  (Source: Fay Observer)

The Apple iPhone  (Source: Apple)
Move over iPhone, there's a new leader in town

The iPhone is undeniably slick, with powerful hardware, good battery life, a capable music platform, and a thriving applications ecosystem.  But in terms of contract and cost of the phone, it remains pricey.  And its business applications and features still trail those of Research In Motion's Blackberry.

Those factors combined to sink the Apple iPhone to the second spot in smartphone sales after a strong 2008, which saw it take over the top spot.  The iPhone sold so well, that for part of last year, it was America's bestselling phone overall including traditional phones.

Moving into first place was the Blackberry Curve, which covers several Blackberry 83xx models according to Apple Inisider.  Coming in a close third was the Blackberry Storm, and the Blackberry Pearl took fourth (excluding the flip variety).  The fifth spot was occupied by T-Mobile's G1 phone, the first phone to feature Google's Android OS.

The trouncing that RIM laid on Apple and its other competitors grew the company's smart phone market share 15 percent to seize a commanding 50 percent of the market.  Palm, which is awaiting the release of the much-anticipated Pre, and Apple, meanwhile, saw their market shares sink 10 percent.

Market research firm NPD says that Blackberry pricing was made even sweeter by Verizon's aggressive "buy-one-get-one" promotion, which gave RIM the momentum it needed to dominate the sales charts.  Analyst Ross Rubin states, "The more familiar, and less expensive, Curve benefited from these giveaways and was able to leapfrog the iPhone, due to its broader availability on the four major U.S. national carriers."

Globally, smartphones now account for 23 percent of the cell phone market, rising 6 percent on a year to year basis.  Given the troubled financial state of many consumers, Mr. Rubin calls this a very good sign for smart phone makers and evidence that customers are continuing to "(migrate) toward Web-capable handsets and their supporting data plans to access more information and entertainment on the go."

RIM reported previously record sales of 7.8 million Blackberries in the year's first quarter, while Apple posted weaker sales of 3.79 million units. 

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RE: Blackberry
By omnicronx on 5/4/2009 1:57:42 PM , Rating: 2
Your comments are obviously bias. I have a touch phone, and I've never owned a BB, but one thing is for sure, typing on a BB is easier and has a much faster learning curve than the iphone or any other touch device for that matter. That alone makes a hard keyboard more attractive to a lot of users, especially older ones.

I have compared the two side by side, and to tell you the truth i was not that impressed. Even when comparing to Windows mobile, I can type faster on my WinMo phone than on the iphone (especially since I can type in landscape). For the few times I've actually used a BB extensively, I picked it up right away, I can't say that for either my phone (winMo) or the iPhone.

RE: Blackberry
By quiksilvr on 5/4/2009 2:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
There was one thing that I always thought about when I hear about cellphone companies wanting multitouch on their phones: Why? Why is it so important? Multitouch doesn't help with typing, sifting through files, or anything major.

But you can zoom in and zoom out with two fingers! Yeah, or just use a scroll bar to the side.

But you can rotate! Or just push a button that says "rotate this way" or "rotate that way".

IMO, cell phone companies seem to want multitouch just because Apple has it, and that's just pointless. Yes, I agree the patent is bullsh|t and if cell phone companies should have rights to it if they want it without having to pay an arm and a leg for it, but if the annoying legal system won't let them do it, FORGET about it. Just make an awesome single touch user interface and be done with it.

RE: Blackberry
By Murst on 5/4/2009 4:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
What patent are you talking about? From your post, it would seem like you're implying that apple owns the patent on multi-touch displays. I find that hard to believe, so could you post a link to that patent?

Now, there was a patent that was related to gestures that apple filed. It seems like a bunch of crap that will not hold up in courts, but that really is separate from multitouch technology. It wasn't multitouch gestures that were patented, but the process of calculating any type of gesture, single or multi.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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