iPhone Increases Marketshare Again


For Q3 2009, Apple’s (s aapl) iPhone accounted for 17.1 percent of worldwide smartphone marketshare, a new high for the company. That’s the good news from Gartner, and there’s more where that came from.


While overall mobile phone sales were flat for the quarter, smartphone sales were up 12.8 percent, some 41 million units. Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner, notes that smartphones “represent the fastest-growing segment of the mobile-devices market and we remain confident about the potential for smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2009 and in 2010.” How convenient for Apple.

3.4, 12.9, and 17.1 percent…that’s Apple’s market share for each third quarter from 2007 through 2009, the growth rate easily besting even RIM’s (s rimm) doubling of its own market share over the same period of time. For the current quarter, Apple also outpaced RIM, the two companies growing by 49.2 and 46.9 percent, respectively. While that surge could be attributed to the launch of the iPhone 3GS, it should be noted that the iPhone 3GS was supply constrained during the quarter. Further, Gartner believes the fourth quarter “should be even stronger as Apple starts selling in China, through one additional carrier in the UK, and in an additional 16 countries.”

While Nokia did manage growth, it picked up only 4.4 percent in units sold, putting the company at 39.3 percent market share, down from 42.3 percent for the same period last year. The big losers for the quarter appears to have been manufacturers saddled with Windows Mobile 6.

According to Gartner, Windows Mobile 6.5 came “too late to have an impact on the third quarter, so sales of Windows-based smartphones saw another decline.” Apparently, HTC must be gaining strength based upon Android. Google’s (s goog) mobile OS “picked up momentum but with only a handful of Android devices available, its share remained modest at 3.5 per cent” of the mobile operating systems.

No doubt phones like Verizon’s (s vz) Droid will help to increase Android’s share of the market, but arguably not at Apple’s expense. The problem with Android is that each carrier is free to create its own mind-numbing implementation, resulting in a lack of consistency for the users of different phones. A case in point is the Droid, which currently lacks multi-touch, even though Android 2.0 supports it. For the most consistent and elegant mobile experience, the only choice remains the iPhone.



The color of a case may not be a big deal for some, but for others, it is. If Windows on a Dell PC had a right-click with the mouse and if an HP PC did not, and if I did not like right-click with the mouse then I’d get that HP PC. If I like to use a stylus on a tablet PC, then I go with that. If I want a 9 inch netbook or a tricked-out gaming monster, there’s a Windows machine for that. User experience is different for different people, and for 90% out there, the user experience is Windows.
Diverse, highly-fragmented user experience is a good; it encourages more people to get on an Android. If the Droid’s doesn’t have built-in support for Android 2.0’s multitouch APIs, and a user doesn’t want to use the Picsay Pro app to enable it, then, who knows, maybe multitouch isn’t a big deal for that user. Or just wait for the many, many Android handsets coming to see which ones you like- perfect for when those Razrs owners are ready to make the smartphone jump.

Josh Pigford

ArrowSmith, this is your one and only warning. Commenting THREE times on a single article with troll-worthy comments isn’t acceptable. Back down.


“..diversity of the user experience has certainly worked wonders for Linux on the Desktop..” It sure worked wonders for the 90% of machines out there that run Windows, and not just for Desktops- hmmm, choices: HP, Dell, Sony, Lenovo, Acer; black, white, red case; cases with trim, blinking light, or without; netbook, notebook, tablet, umpc, Mac; low, mid, high priced; etc, etc. So, for the majority of cellphone users out there still on to their Razr’s, when it’ll come time to make the smartphone jump, the choices: physical keyboard, flash, capacitive, resistive, removable battery, sources to download apps, etc, etc or not, there’s an Android for that.

Charles Jade

Surely you misunderstand the concept of the user experience to suggest the color of a case is part of it. How would it be if Windows on Dell PCs had a right-click with the mouse and HP PCs didn’t? It’s the same on every PC. With Android, phone makers are already customizing themselves into a highly-fragmented user experience, and Android 2 phones are just getting out there. Droid and its lack of multi-touch is a perfect example.


lack of consistency for the users of different Android phones? that’s what having a choice means, and obviously choice is what iPhone fan boys don’t know anything about, oh yeah, you have a choice of 99,999 iFart apps. you gotten sense the desperation of iPhone fanboys as once again Apple gets relegated to some tiny niche. iPhone China?=Fail

Charles Jade

Well, diversity of the user experience has certainly worked wonders for Linux on the Desktop, so why not on the mobile phone?


No doubt that the iphone growth over the last two years has been impressive, however it is unfair to compare that growth to the other cellphone companies considering that they have been established for some time while Apple is comparatively new to the game.

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