Apple's share of the smartphone market has soared over the last year, according to analysts.
Research firm Gartner said in a recent report that the iPhone accounted for 13.3 per cent of all smartphone sales last quarter, up from 2.8 per cent in the same period of 2008.
Apple's 13.3 per cent share was good enough to place the company third amongst smartphone vendors. Nokia retained the top billing with some 18.4 million units sold and a 45 per cent share, followed by Research in Motion, which staked an 18.7 per cent share.
Much of the boost was credited to the continued global expansion of the device, which logged some 5.4 million units sold. The report noted the rollout of the iPhone 3GS and introduction of a $99 model as other factors.
Obviously Apple wants to keep revenues growing and new customers pouring in, but one has to wonder a bit if the company has reached a sort of "comfort zone" in terms of market share.
The company has a well-known policy of staying out of the larger mainstream market; it doesn't do cheap, low-end stuff. This has the financial advantage of keeping profit margins high, and it's why the company continues to thrive with the Macintosh despite having a share of the PC market that fluctuates between five and ten per cent.
Perhaps Apple may be reaching a similar point with the iPhone. The smartphone market is still booming, and the company may be happy to keep the current iPhone lineup and price range for a while.
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