Apple Sold a Third of U.S. Smartphones

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The Apple iPhone now has a 30 percent market share in the U.S. smartphone market and 16.6 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, Needham analyst Charlie Wolf wrote in a research note this week. Apple is now second only to Nokia, which, while still very strong, saw its share plummet from 63.3 to 43.6 percent year over year. Most of that loss went directly to Apple.

Additionally, Apple's strong iPhone launch has prevented this market segment from stalling. The launch of the iPhone is the "only reason" the smartphone market didn't show a drop in numbers, according to Wolf.

Earlier this year, Steve Jobs triumphantly touted Q3 2008 numbers that showed Apple shipping more iPhones than RIM did BlackBerrys. Will Apple be able to keep it up? Maybe.

Research in Motion just launched the BlackBerry Storm, which has received unfavorable reviews -- Wolf says "the Storm will probably ignite an upgrade cycle among some BlackBerry users, but it's unlikely to lure a significant number of mobile phone users into the BlackBerry fold." I'm still waiting on a tester unit from Verizon to compare to the iPhone and T-Mobile G1 that I have on my desk, so I'm in wait-and-see mode on the Storm. But, from what I've heard, the Storm isn't a legitimate competitor to the iPhone.

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