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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 Pirks on 5/4/2009 2:30:03 PM , Rating: 0
Yea yea I hear ya. iPhone is maturing still, until version 3.0 that should come this June it is somewhat castrated. Apple hasn't put the real pressure on competitors yet because the iPhone OS was in its infancy all these years. I expect the real heat to turn up this June when the last nitpicky little feature complaints are finaly resolved and you can listen to the music through BT and whatnot. Until June it was mostly the rehearsal, Apple tried their muscle, probed the market, worked with the cell industry first time. It was mostly years of learning lessons for them and gathering feedback from consumers. The real battle for the huge emerging smartphone market is yet to come. In two years from now we'll see the first real results of some hardcore competition between mature mobile OSes. Now it's not hardcore enough. A rehearsal, just a rehearsal :)

RE: Blackberry
By TomZ on 5/4/2009 2:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
In other words, iPhone was a half-assed launch. It did pretty well considering. I think Apple caught established players in that industry with their pants down.

RE: Blackberry
By Pirks on 5/4/2009 2:53:06 PM , Rating: 1
iPhone was a half-assed launch
Jobs learned a lot from an Xbox 360 launch.

RE: Blackberry
By HaB1971 on 5/4/2009 4:53:01 PM , Rating: 1
<quote=Pirks>Jobs learned a lot from an Xbox 360 launch.

The Titanic's launch was a success; it was half-assed and didn't last very long by all accounts.

The Xbox 360 launched perfectly fine in that respect and it hit more metaphorical icebergs but still it floats.

*Disclaimer* I have not tested how well an XBox 360 does as a floatation device, though I have been tempted to find out using my Ex roommates unit

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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