Apple doubles its iPhone market share

Apple's strategy of tight integration of apps and services, as well as the touch-screen capabilities of the iPhone, appear to have paid off for the company in the first quarter of 2009.

If there was any doubt about the popularity of Apple's iPhone, a quick look at the latest market share figures from research firm Gartner should put them to rest.

Released on Wednesday, the newest data from Gartner shows that Apple's share of worldwide smartphone sales grew from 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to 10.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009. In terms of unit sales, Apple jumped from 1.7 million in the first quarter of 2008 to 3.9 million during the same period in 2009.

While the quarter's iPhone adoption metrics may be impressive, Apple wasn't the only smartphone maker with big gains. Research In Motion saw its BlackBerry market share rise from 13.3 percent in first quarter of 2008 to 19.9 percent in 2009. The company's unit sales grew from 4.3 million to 7.2 million over the same period.

Nokia saw its market share drop almost 4 percent, from 45.1 percent in first quarter of 2008 to 41.2 percent in 2009. Despite the decline, Nokia remains the world's No. 1 smartphone maker, followed by Research In Motion and Apple.

Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said growth in the smartphone category was driven by touch-screen products such as the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm, and credited "tighter integration with applications and services around music, mobile e-mail, and Internet browsing," as key factors to growth.

Although traditional mobile-phone sales still dominate the market, a clear shift is under way. Mobile-phone sales for the first quarter of 2009 totaled 269.1 million, a drop of 9.4 percent over the same period last year.

Smartphone sales for the first quarter of 2009 were 36.4 million, representing a 12.7 percent increase over the first quarter of 2008.

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