Technology & Science

Apple's iPhone outsells BlackBerry, report says

Apple Inc.'s iPhone outsold rival Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry in the latest quarter, according to a technology analysis firm, lending weight to a recent boast by Steve Jobs.

Apple Inc.'s iPhone outsold rival Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry in the latest quarter, according to a technology analysis firm, lending weight to a recent boast by Steve Jobs.

The Apple chief executive took a shot at Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM during a conference call announcing his company's fiscal fourth-quarter results on Oct. 21. "I'd like to point out [a] remarkable milestone resulting from iPhone's outstanding performance last quarter," he said. "Apple beat RIM."

U.K.-based Canalys confirmed Jobs' claims on Thursday in a report on the global smartphone market. Apple shipped more than 6.8 million iPhones during the third quarter of 2008 to give it a market share of 17.3 per cent. RIM shipped just over six million BlackBerry phones in the quarter for a 15.2-per-cent  share of a market that saw more than 39 million phones shipped overall.

Apple leapfrogged both RIM and Motorola from a year ago to take the number two spot, behind Nokia Corp. Nokia shipped more than 15.4 million smartphones in the quarter for a market share of 38.9 per cent, but saw its leadership position take a big dip from 51.4 per cent a year ago.

Canalys said Apple's growth over the past year has been staggering. The company shipped only 1.1 million iPhones during the third quarter of 2007, giving it a growth rate of more than 500 per cent this year.

"It was expected that Apple would figure among the smartphone leaders this quarter, with that huge initial new product shipment; it was just a question of how high up it would be – and this is impressive," said senior analyst Pete Cunningham in a statement.

Canalys also pointed out that RIM's year-over-year shipment growth of 80 per cent, although less impressive than Apple's, was not to be taken lightly.

Touch screens most popular

"This is also a tremendous performance, especially considering the delays it experienced in rolling out the Blackberry Bold," Cunningham said. "Some customers will also have been waiting for the Storm to arrive. With these new products and the clamshell Pearl 8220 available in Q4, it is quite feasible that RIM will return to the number two position."

The analysis firm found that touch screens, which the iPhone is famous for, proved to be the most popular design feature among users considering their future mobile usage of applications such as playing music, maps and web browsing. Nokia has lost some of its market share because it has been slow in integrating touch screens to its product line.

Canalys also looked at the operating systems running on smartphones. About 46.6 per cent of smartphones shipped during the quarter ran Nokia's Symbian, followed by Apple's own operating system at 17.3 per cent. RIM came in third with 15.2 per cent, followed by Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile at 13.6 per cent and Linux open-source software at 5.1 per cent.

now