Apple (s aapl) made good on a target set by Steve Jobs when he originally announced the release of the original iPhone in June of 2007. He wanted the iPhone to take 1 percent of global cellphone market share by the end of 2008, and according to at least two different market research firms, Apple has met, and surpassed that goal. That number puts it pretty much on par with HTC, who makes a large number of different handsets, and ahead of Sharp, who also offers many different models.
For the sake of reference, consider that Nokia still dominates the space, taking a whopping 38.6 percent. Research in Motion (s RIMM), makers of BlackBerry devices, also still outshine Apple, with 1.9 percent, which is up from 1.1 percent in 2007. So yes, technically, BlackBerry gained as much ground as the iPhone did in the same period, but Apple was also only really selling one device, while RIM has an entire line of products aimed at different categories of consumers. Also, the iPhone was only sold in 2007 from June forward, so Apple had less time to sell their product.
Now that they’ve reached their initial target, the next logical step would be to try to overtake RIM, their closest competitor. RIM has just released the Blackberry 8900, an updated version of their mid-level handset, targeted at users who don’t need the power of the Bold but do prefer the full QWERTY keyboard over the BlackBerry’s Pearl’s truncated keypad. To make big strides in the mobile handset market, Apple should aim for the Pearl and Curve market space, either by introducing a simplified, lower-cost iPhone Nano, or by releasing a brand new iPhone model, but keeping the 3G around at a discounted price.