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First quarter of 2010 was iPhone’s strongest quarter yet


The iPhone had 2.7% of the worldwide mobile phone market in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 1.55 in the same time period of 2009, according to the Gartner research group ( Apple sold approximately 8.4 million iPhones in 1Q2010 compared to approximately 3.9 million in 1Q2009.

Ahead of Apple, globally, for 1Q2010 are Nokia (35% market share), Samsung (20.6%), LG (8.6%), RIM (3.4% and Sony Ericsson (3.1%). The first quarter of 2010 was Apple’s strongest quarter yet, which placed the company in the No. 7 position with a 112.2% increase in mobile devices sales.

“Growth came partly from new communication service providers in established markets, such as the UK, and stronger sales in new markets such as China and South Korea,” says Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “The second quarter of 2010 will be a very important one for Apple. We expect that Apple will present its new iPhone in June during its Worldwide Developer Conference, which will be the first to feature the latest release of the iPhone OS that includes welcome improvements for developers and users, such as multitasking.”

In the smartphone OS market, Android and Apple were the winners in the first quarter of 2010. Android moved to the No. 4 position displacing Microsoft Windows Mobile for the first time. Both Android and Apple were the only two OSs vendors among the top five to increase market share year-on-year. Symbian remained in the No. 1 position but continued to lose as Nokia remains weak in the high-end portfolio.

Smartphones accounted for 17.3% of all mobile handset sales in the first quarter of 2010, up from 13.6% in the same period in 2009. As seen with the iPad and web books based on Google’s Android platform, mobile OS ecosystems are developing and will move beyond smartphones to continue to deliver consumer value and a rich user experience, according to Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

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