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Apple shouldn't get too comfortable with the success of their iPhone as Blackberry has regained the title of best-selling U.S. smartphone for the first quarter of 2009. According to data from NPD Group, the top 5 smart phones were:

1. BlackBerry Curve (all 8300 models)
2. Apple iPhone
3. BlackBerry Storm
4. BlackBerry Pearl
5. T-Mobile G1

BlackBerry also offers multiple models which are also represented on the top sales list. NPD attributes the surge to a number of factors including aggressive giveaways as well as broader availability of the BlackBerry across the four major U.S. national carriers.

The data is interesting to see after there have been persistent rumors that Apple might try to expand the iPhone's market penetration through both a "Lite" version and support on additional U.S. carriers. DaringFireball's John Gruber believes that Apple will model the iPhone product line expansion after the iPod's:
Apple went on to repeatedly improve upon the iPod in two ways: on the high end by producing new devices with the same shape and price but with new features (additional storage, color screens, larger screens, video, etc.); on the low end by taking the existing features and making them smaller and cheaper.
....
The reason why Apple did this with the iPod, and why I'm convinced they'll do it again with the iPhone, is that when it comes to managing the balance between per-unit profit and overall market share, Apple is determined to err on the side of market share.
Gruber, of course. notes this plan is very different than Apple's Mac strategy in the much more mature PC market. He also believes this is the reason why Apple will eventually have to broaden the iPhone's availability beyond AT&T.

Article Link: BlackBerry Overtakes iPhone as Bestselling U.S. Smartphone in Q1
 

alm99

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2008
313
6
The only reason they took the 1st,3rd, and 4th position is because of the BOGO promotion by Verizon Wireless. If they were not BOGO, this never would have happened.
 
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WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,485
1,328
Price

The price argument is very compelling for people who just want a good portable email machine. The iPhone was the smartphone for "the rest of us", but I think there's a lower tier, a "rest of the rest of us" who are moving up from RAZRs and like the idea of email and web access.

Still, I wonder how much effect the myth of the iPhone being hard to type on affects things. It is a complaint I still hear from people who haven't tried it. I usually win in a race against my friends with Blackberries.
 
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t0mat0

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2006
5,453
279
Home
Ranking by expected margin per phone would probably put these in a different order. Would be interesting to have it on a phone by phone basis too, rather than just grouping handsets together.
 
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Michael73

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2007
1,081
39
I wonder if unit sales takes into account enterprise sales as well as consumer sales?

Also, it's interesting that this only looks at unit sales, not activations and not profitability per customer. I think it's on a per customer basis, the iPhone customer is worth more than a BB Curve customer in both monthly and lifetime value.
 
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Eso

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2008
1,811
261
Cue all the ignoramuses shouting, "they are comparing all blackberry curve models to just the iPhone!" What will they say soon, I wonder, when multiple iPhone models are sold? If you really need it explained as to why its not important, you aren't worth my time explaining to.

I don't imagine it's because people are waiting for the new model in a couple months. I doubt the average consumer is really anticipating one - and even many people around this forum who are "in the know" still vigorously debate whether or not to just buy the 3G now.

EDIT: Oops, looks like someone already jumped the gun.
 
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rikers_mailbox

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2003
739
0
LA-la-land
i agree that we will see a "low-end" iPhone. smaller form factor, fewer features, and lower price point. But something that still offers a feature set unique to Apple iPhone.

Now to confuse the issue of "smart phone" marketshare... I guess Blackberry *may* have outsold the iPhone in Q1. But this does not take into account iPod touch sales which I would argue contribute to the product category. I know folks who are keeping their crap flip phones and buying an iPod touch for the "smart phone" features like calendar (Exchange), contacts, email, web, etc. These are people that are nearby WiFi almost all the time.
 
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*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Cheap and plentiful tends to sell. Enter Nokia.

Apple with just ONE phone, and with just ONE provider shook up the entire industry and took #1 position in the US and #3 worldwide and held it for quite some time.

Now, in a lousy economy, RIM (or the provider) offers a Wal-Mart-esque promotion on their ancient e-mail/texting machines and they manage to get into a top spot in Q1. And so far only Q1.

Are we supposed to be impressed that a company that has been in business forever, that has produced the Storm-flop, has managed not to suck??
 
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gvegastiger

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2007
172
0
Its easier to outsell any phone manufacturer if you are giving your phones away. Without the giveaways RIMM wouldn't have taking first place.
 
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paul.b.davis

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2007
370
0
Over the hills and far away...
Interesting to note that the iPhone is still beating out the BlackBerry Storm, which indicates that in the touch screen market, the iPhone is still on top.

This being said, I believe that the market will shift toward touch screen devices since the attractiveness of greatly increased screen space will become an important factor.

The iPhone (and iPod Touch) touch screen is far superior to the other devices I have tried (they seem to be more like the touch computer screen you would use at a computer based cash register, less of a "touch" screen and more of a "touch and press" screen).
 
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*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Its easier to outsell any phone manufacturer if you are giving your phones away. Without the giveaways RIMM wouldn't have taking first place.

Sometimes the only real way to get product to move is by giving it away as part of a "with purchase" deal.
 
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Stargaze

macrumors member
Aug 26, 2008
88
4
not bad to be #2 when you only have 1 device competeing against several different product lines

Curve, Storm, Pearl,

just to name a few...
 
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Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
8,005
666
In my imagination
The only reason they took the 1st,3rd, and 4th position is because of the BOGO promotion by Verizon Wireless. If they were not BOGO, this never would have happened.

True, and the only reason the iPhone is in second place is because Apple counts all the iPhones that are sold as "replacements" for users broken handsets.

Even the ones being sold as service replacements at the Genius Bar.

I think the numbers have more to do with the hype of the iPhone still fading away, better competition and service plans by other carriers, and of course the rumors of a new iPhone model.

We'll see what happens in the next quarter with 3.0, a possible new iPhone model, and other handsets like the Pre and offerings from HTC and Nokia.
 
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aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,278
1,382
Cue all the ignoramuses shouting, "they are comparing all blackberry curve models to just the iPhone!"
I still think it's pretty neat that it took all models of the Curve (which are sold by all US carriers) + the nations largest carrier doing a "buy one, get one free" promotion, to bump the single model iPhone (which is only sold by one US carrier) to the number two spot.
 
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DMann

macrumors 601
Jan 13, 2002
4,001
0
10023
Cheap and plentiful tends to sell. Enter Nokia.

Apple with just ONE phone, and with just ONE provider shook up the entire industry and took #1 position in the US and #3 worldwide and held it for quite some time.

Now, in a lousy economy, RIM (or the provider) offers a Wal-Mart-esque promotion on their ancient e-mail/texting machines and they manage to get into a top spot in Q1. And so far only Q1.

Are we supposed to be impressed that a company that has been in business forever, that has produced the Storm-flop, has managed not to suck??
One model, one provider, overtakes industry - the next generation in June will create yet another wave. All of this is quite remarkable, considering the >2 years the iPhone has been released. Greatly looking forward to to June. :p
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
Apple has never outsold RIM

Apple in total, has never outsold RIM in total. RIM has always outsold Apple by a ratio of 2:1. The current iPhone model has simply outsold certain current RIM models at times, which is not surprising considering how many Blackberry types there are.

The top model ranking goes back and forth seasonally. Last spring, people stopped buying iPhones while waiting for the 3G model... then bought like crazy when it came out. Likewise, people held back from buying Blackberries in the summer, while waiting for the Storm and Bold in the fall.

As for comparing multiple models, people do the same with iPods, lumping them together. For that matter, people still lump total iPhone sales together, even though there's been two main models (and lots of sub models if you count memory amounts, and carrier or country locking).
 
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*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
I still think it's pretty neat that it took all models of the Curve (which are sold by all US carriers) + the nations largest carrier doing a "buy one, get one free" promotion, to bump the single model iPhone (which is only sold by one US carrier) to the number two spot.

Exactly. That's the whole point.
 
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Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
8,005
666
In my imagination
not bad to be #2 when you only have 1 device competeing against several different product lines

Curve, Storm, Pearl,

just to name a few...

Not really, it's a good thing to hit number two, but those other devices are counted separately, not all together.

BB took the 1st, 3rd, and 4th place seats. If we were to count all models as just being BB phones, then Apple's 2nd place wouldn't have meant much.

What I'd love to know is how far off were the seats..... as in, what's BB's lead on the iPhone, and how close was the second and third seat.
 
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gkarris

macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
8,301
1,053
"No escape from Reality...”
pff i m sick of you apple fan boys :p

you are right man :)

#2 is great. Some people see that as fail...

I didn't go to BB at work because I prefer Nextel's coverage to AT&T's. But I met with the Sprint rep last week and he showed me that Nextel now has their version of the BB Curve - now I have no excuse...

AT&T gets a lot of new customers with the iPhone, so it would be hard for them to give it up - especially in the "land of exclusive handsets".

But, at least the BB is changing all that...
 
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keefie

macrumors newbie
May 4, 2009
1
0
Deja Vu

The current approach to selling Blackberries seems reminiscent of the Razr frenzy three years ago. Everyone acquired Razrs through variations on BOGO. If history is our guide then we can expect RIM to have medium/long term success and prosperity similar to that which has been experienced by Motorola.
 
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Andrew K.

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2008
1,432
1
It's $99 that's why, many people unlike us here at MR look at price first before they look at the phone, that's why Apple needs to come out with an iPhone Lite for $99 with the same specs as the current 3g but thinner.
 
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kornyboy

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2004
1,529
0
Knoxville, TN (USA)
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

The blackberry 8300 models are sold by so many carriers it isn't funny and they are practically giving them away. It is hard to get a $200 phone to compete with a $50 phone.
 
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Cartoonkid

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2009
345
181
Sunny So Cal
Interesting to note that the iPhone is still beating out the BlackBerry Storm, which indicates that in the touch screen market, the iPhone is still on top.

Agreed. If we're going to compare apples to apples (pun intended) get rid of the non-touch-screen smart phones and see who the top dog is.
 
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