A report on the mobile market from Gartner found on AppleInsider has given us all some food for thought. In the first quarter of the year, Apple shipped out 3.94 million iPhones (10.8% of the market). By comparison Research in Motion, who makes the BlackBerry, shipped 7.23 million smartphones (20% of the market). Not unexpectedly, Nokia was on top once again, with 15 million smartphones sold (41.2% of the market).
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So what does this mean? Well, for one thing it means that Apple is primed to dominate the smartphone market as soon as they hook up with a few more carriers and diversify their offerings. BlackBerry and Nokia have commanding leads on Apple, but only because they both produce a lot of different smartphones that are available on a wide selection of carriers. Considering Apple has one product sold through one carrier, they aren't doing too bad.
Apple's plans for the future include offering more, distinctly different phones. They are also rumored to be in talks to add Verizon on as the second iPhone carrier. Either of these moves would increase Apple's market share, both of them together could see them jump ahead to the number two slot in world smartphone sales.
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BlackBerry is Apple's primary rival here. Nokia is far too large right now, although their recent fiscal difficulties might change that soon. Apple needs to boost their market share by about 10% in order to unseat RIM. The iPhone 2009 alone won't do it, but I doubt that is all that Apple has up their sleeve for Q3 and 4 of the year.