Despite only being available from a single carrier, and despite its hefty price tag, Apple’s iPhone has more than doubled its market share in the past year.
A new report from Gartner shows the iPhone captured 10.8 percent of the smart phone market in the first quarter, up from 5.3 percent a year ago. That comes as the overall sales of cell phones were down 8.6 percent.
“Overall sales in the first quarter of 2009 registered the biggest quarter-on-quarter contraction since Gartner began monitoring the market on a quarterly basis in 2001,” said Carolina Milanesi, research director for mobile devices at Gartner.
Nokia still is far and away the industry leader, with 36 percent of the overall market and 41 percent of the smart phone market – but it has lost ground in both areas over the past year.
Research in Motion’s Blackberry is showing fast growth in the smart phone field as well, increasing its market share from 13 percent to nearly 20 percent.
Things could get really interesting once AT&T’s exclusive distribution rights for the iPhone come to an end in 2010. There have been reports that Apple and Verizon are discussing the possible development of an iPhone for Verizon.
If true, that would vastly expand Apple’s reach and almost certainly move it to (at least) the #2 position in sales and share.