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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001


In an article on Motorola's earnings report earlier this week, Forbes notes that Apple has passed Motorola to become the largest mobile phone manufacturer based in the United States.
Motorola sold a total of 8.5 million phones in the quarter, while Apple sold 8.8 million iPhones. Four years ago, when the Razr was still popular, Motorola sold 46.1 million phones in the first quarter.
On a related note, research firm IDC yesterday released a report on global mobile phone sales for the first quarter of 2010, showing overall industry year-over-year growth of 21.7% to 294.9 million. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion entered the top five for the first time, edging out Sony Ericsson for the fourth spot with shipments of 10.6 million and 3.6% market share. Apple's 8.8 million number suggests that a top five placement is within reach if iPhone shipments continue to grow at the rapid pace they have been experiencing.
RIM shipped 10.6 million units in the first quarter while Motorola, which had been a top 5 vendor since the inception of IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004, shipped 8.5 million units. Motorola, the number 2 overall vendor in 2004, registered a fifth place finish last year by virtue of its overall strength in the lower-growth traditional mobile phone category. Motorola has steadily lost share since 2004 when the market started its shift toward higher-end feature phones and smartphones. The ongoing shift has given rise to converged mobile device vendors such as RIM and Apple.
Overall, Nokia and Samsung dominated sales numbers, with Nokia shipping 107.8 million phones for 36.6% global market share and Samsung moving 64.3 million units and representing 21.8% of the market.

Article Link: Apple Becomes Largest U.S.-Based Mobile Phone Manufacturer


macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
Pretty amazing considering Apple only has one phone model and is only carried by one carrier in the US.


macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2010
keep in mind, motorola sells many models of phones while apple only sells 3, and apple still beat them. kind of puts things in perspective for the apple haters.


macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2010
But it's important to remember that iPhone sales momentum is slowing, Apple has no chance in the long-term, blah, blah, blah...


macrumors newbie
Aug 17, 2009
Motorola sold so many Razr phones in that quarter because they would break after about 3 months.


macrumors regular
May 21, 2009
Don't speak for the folks over at Verizon. If Droid was GSM, I'd be sporting one too.

That chart is comparing the 2006 launch of iPhone (Apple's first attempt into the phone market) to a 2009 launch of Droid (which was Moto's umpteenth phone)


macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2008
Would love to see the numbers for Norway, my home country. I expect iPhone is the biggest selling phone by a huge margin. Seriously, iPhones are everywhere, everyone has it, and it seems like the number has skyrocketed especially the last 6 months. Like a poster before me said, Apple´s cellphone-share is pretty impressive when you factor in they only have one single model (okay, 3G is still sold but those two are close enough)!

I wonder if this success is gonna make Apple expand their model line to take even more market share -- or if they are a little scared about doing that, if they believe their success is too tied in the fact that peope appreiciate the simplicity in having only one model with a simple name to worry about. Its certainly a fresh change from Nokia and Sony Ericssons confusing line of "3720" and "FTX04DKz!" models.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2010
If apple gave away their iPhone's like how motorola did the razr, then you'd see more than 46.1million in the first quarter.

To give credit to Motorola, the RAZR design at that time was indeed phenomenal considering how slim and sleek the design looked and not to forget 240x320 resolution with a ginormous lcd at the time.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2010
Don't speak for the folks over at Verizon. If Droid was GSM, I'd be sporting one too.

The only reason you see the droid selling so many is that on Verizon, there is no iPhone alternative period. The BB touch device was already a loser but with the droid, there was a viable iPhone clone to buy from Verizon.

If the droid came to AT&T, I would not buy it. But that's just my personal opinion. Yes, I have used one and although it tries hard, it's still an iPhone clone.


macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
Nice! However, I would like people to remember that consumers don't buy new phones every year...or every 2 years. There are plenty of people (like me) who own the cell phones for 4+ years (or until they die like my Razr). What this means is that this report/news article could be just a blip on the radar representing who has had the opportunity/need to buy a new phone.

On a side note, the new cell phone mentality is kind of a scam anyway...I mean, how often (other than it breaking) do you change your home phone device? Every 20 years? We are somehow convinced that we need new cells often (I'm not talking about smartphones like the iPhone or Blackberry). Granted cells are brought out of your home and subjected to a lot more probability of loss/theft/breakage but I really don't know anyone that buys a new phone more often than every 3-5 years.



macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2008
Rhode Island
"If we could capture just 1% of the market..."

Anybody remember what Steve Jobs said when the original iPhone was introduced?

"Imagine the possibilities if we could capture just 1% of the cell phone market"

They have become the #1 phone supplier in America in just a few short years.

What a vision!


macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2007
Washington DC
Although Apple did an amazing job at this, the more important thing that any company cares is how much profit they make. Numbers of phones, customers apps...bla bla bla.... Apple is making a bank. Any Nokia or Motorola CEO would love Apple's model. Too bad they can't.


macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
show's you the growth potential of market and how much money can be made. Apple & RIM are making loads off the <10 mil units per quarter, just think how much they'll be making if/when they sell 46mil unit/quarter.

From Giz:

"It was 2004 when the RAZR launched in the US as a high-end design clamshell. It was $600, with a $100 dollar rebate from Cingular. Reviewers complained about the price, but back then the phone was revolutionary enough that no one could pan it. It dialed, like any other phone, and did basic text messaging, and more. But it was just a thin, beautiful design ahead of it's time. And it sold. Especially after it dropped in price, after launch, like all phones do. Within 2 years, it shipped its 50 millionth phone worldwide."

I remember when it was US$500 for a RAZR - people will pay for new sazzy gadgets... and I don't think RAZR had as much hype or perceived revolutionary-ness as the iPhone, Android phones or RIM ever had.
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