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iPhone slips as Android and BlackBerry take over smart phone market

The iPhone isn't winning hearts the way it used to, according to new figures. Apple's share of the smart phone cake has slipped in the last year, while BlackBerry gets a boost -- and Android goes from strength to strength.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

The iPhone isn't winning hearts the way it used to, according to new figures. Apple's share of the smart phone cake has slipped in the last year, while BlackBerry gets a boost -- and Android goes from strength to strength.

Phones using iOS software currently hold 18 per cent of the smart phone market, down from 30 per cent last year. Android leads with 45 per cent of the market, and RIM is showing Apple a clean pair of heels with a jump to 22 per cent.

RIM isn't going so well in the US and the rest of the world, but it appears there is one corner of the world that is forever BlackBerry Messaging -- a huge draw among the teenage market.

Still, it's worth noting that market share shows how big the slice of the phone cake is, and not how many phones each outfit is actually selling. As the smart phone market is expanding Apple could still be selling more phones than last year -- but these figures suggest it's just not grabbing the hearts and minds of potential new customers as much as Android.

That suggests that the wider choice offered by Android is winning customers. Apple sells one phone, whereas there are many Android phones, from many manufacturers -- and most of them are great. The range of choice -- and the range of prices -- means Android is an attractive proposition for anyone.

Android is doing well with people new to the world of apps, OSes and web-connected walking about: 74 per cent of new Android users haven't previously owned a smart phone.

It's likely that Apple's slowing sales are at least partly driven by speculation over the next model. Technology newshounds like ourselves might be somewhat to blame for that, but we only write about the iPhone 5 because so many of you guys want to read about it.

Meanwhile, Symbian is -- unsurprisingly -- on the way out. Here in Britain, phones running Nokia's Symbian software dropped from a third of the market to just 10 per cent. That's not surprising given Symbian is largely on its way out. It'll still power Nokia's budget phones, which are massive in the developing world, but over here it's all about the smart phone. The disappointing Nokia N8 was basically the last hurrah for Symbian as a smart phone platform, before the Finnish phone-flingers unfurl the first Nokia Windows Phone.

The figures come from a mob called Kantar, a "global provider of compelling and actionable market insights". Well lah-di-dah.