Apple iPhone Tops RIM, Shrinks Nokia Smart Phone Share

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple is finding a warmer reception in Europe than at home, two new surveys indicate. The iPhone, which sold 6.9 million units during the third quarter, now owns 17.5 percent of Apple iPhone Tops RIM, Shrinks Nokia Smart Phone Sharethe smart phone market, beating RIM for second place among European mobile phone users.

Analysts at Canalys reported Thursday Apple experienced 523 percent growth during the quarter, outpacing RIM, which registered an 83 percent increase to 15.2 percent market share compared to 2007.

Apple’s rise trimmed Nokia’s market leadership, the Finish handset giant slipping to 38 percent of European cell phone sales, down from 51 percent a year ago.

The UK-based Canalys said the smartphone category grew 28 percent as the entire cellphone market rose just three percent.

In October, cell phone demand was described as “lackluster” by Strategy Analytics as the global economic crisis dampened a holiday season. In previous years, cell phone growth during the period had been up to 20 percent.

Domestically, Apple has 5.7 percent of the U.S. cell phone market, almost half that of RIM, which appears to enjoy favor with American business users. For the first time, handset maker Samsung became the best-selling handset company in the U.S., according to Strategy Analytics. The South Korean cell phone manufacturer displaces troubled Motorola, which announced recently plans to concentrate more on the open-source Android cell phone platform.

The picture isn’t completely bleak for the iPhone in the corporate suite. Thursday, J.D. Power and Associates announced business users ranked the iPhone tops in customer satisfaction.

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About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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