Apple’s iPhone had the third largest share of the worldwide smartphone market in 2009 with 14.4 percent of the market, shipping 24.9 million handsets, analysts said Tuesday. In 2008, Apple had only 8.2 percent of smartphone sales and sold only 11.4 million iPhones.
Apple’s share of the market grew 6.2 percent in 2009, making it the fastest-growing handset maker and knocking Windows Mobile out of the third spot. (In December, reports said the iPhone had overtaken Windows Mobile in the United States.)
The numbers put Apple behind Nokia’s Symbian platform with 46.9 percent of sales, followed by Research in Motion with 19.9 percent of smartphone sales, according to Gartner.
The figures from Gartner seem to echo those from IDC, which earlier this month also reported the iPhone with 14.4 percent of smartphone sales, landing the iconic handset in third place.
Part of the growth of iPhone sales could be attributed to what some described as an explosion of adoption in other countries. In Japan, iPhone sales grew 350 percent and by 300 percent in France, Admob reported in December.
The report also showed growth in 2009 for Android as more phones appear using the Google mobile software. Android’s marketshare more than tripled in 2009 to 3.9 percent of the market, putting the platform in sixth place with 10 million sales for last year. At the other end of the spectrum was Nokia, which saw its Symbian platform lose marketshare. Symbian-based phones accounted for 46.9 percent of the market, down from 52.4 percent in 2008, according to Gartner.
Overall, 172.3 billion smartphones were sold in 2009, up from 139.3 million in calendar 2008. Although the number of smartphones is rising, the category is dwarfed by the 1.2 billion cell phones sold last year. The transition to smartphones could be seen from a 0.9 percent drop in 2009 cell phone sales.