According to a report by FierceWireless based on data gathered by industry analysts IDC, the iPhone 3GS sold strongly in the second quarter of 2009, but not as strongly as the BlackBerry Curve, RIM’s (s rimm) mid-range smartphone offering. According to its analysis, which is based on industry insider interviews, and information from parts manufacturers and distributors, since no company releases firm sales numbers, BlackBerry beat out Apple (s aapl) during the 3GS launch quarter.
As VentureBeat points out, the numbers don’t necessarily reflect actual consumer purchases (sell-through), only really how many units were bought by telcos and retailers (sell-in), and even then the figures are educated guesses, not solid facts. Still, the ranking does tell a story for Apple: a story of success.
Keen readers will note that the report covers second quarter 2009, during which the iPhone 3GS was only available for 12 days through one major U.S. carrier, while the BlackBerry Curve had been on offer throughout the quarter, from no less than all four of the major U.S. carriers, plus many other smaller providers. Also note that the “Curve” moniker applies to a wide selection of handsets, including the 83XX legacy line that many providers offer deep contract discounts on.
Bottom line? The 3GS is already a huge success, despite its relative youth. The rest of the list includes veterans like the Pearl, Storm, Bold, and Android G1, all of which have been around for a while and are much more competitively priced. The iPhone 3G comes in at number four, a fairly strong showing, especially since that puts Apple in two of the top five positions. Unless RIM has something special up its sleeve, expect to see the 3GS pull far ahead in the third quarter.