BlackBerry more popular than iPhone in 1Q

BlackBerry_BoldAn aggressive “buy-one-get-one” promotion by Verizon Wireless helped Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Curve move past Apple’s iPhone to become the best-selling consumer smartphone in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2009, according to a market research report Monday.

RIM’s consumer smartphone market share increased 15 percent to nearly 50 percent of the smartphone market in the first quarter versus the prior quarter, as Apple Inc.’s (Nasdaq:AAPL) and Palm Inc.’s (Nasdaq:PALM) share both declined 10 percent each.

Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group Inc. said that the top five best-selling smartphones in the quarter were:

1) BlackBerry Curve

2) Apple's iPhone 3G (all models)

3) BlackBerry Storm

4) BlackBerry Pearl (all models except flip)

5) T-Mobile G1

“Verizon Wireless’s aggressive marketing of the BlackBerry Storm and its buy-one-get-one BlackBerry promotion to its large customer base contributed to RIM capturing three of the top five positions,” said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at The NPD Group. “The more familiar, and less expensive, Curve benefited from these giveaways and was able to leapfrog the iPhone, due to its broader availability on the four major U.S. national carriers.”

Smartphones, which represented just 17 percent of handset sales volume in the first quarter of 2008, now make up 23 percent of sales. “Even in this challenging  economy, consumers are migrating toward Web-capable handsets and … supporting data plans to access more information and entertainment on the go.” Rubin said.


Posted at Triangle Business Journal