According to a research note from Needham analyst Charlie Wolf, the iPhone now has a 16.6% market share for smartphones worldwide, an incredible feat for a phone that has only been around for a year and a half. As Windows Mobile continues its decline, Apple finds itself trailing only RIM’s lineup of BlackBerry’s in smartphone market share in the US, and trailing only Nokia in worldwide market share.
The analyst explains the sudden shift towards iPhones as a reflection of a wider preference for the business models used by Apple and RIM, both of whom make the operating systems for their own devices and so have greater control over the hardware itself. While licensing operating systems for multiple hardware devices has worked well on PC’s until recently, most smartphone makers have been reluctant to allow a second Microsoft monopoly with Windows Mobile and so reportedly chose Symbian more for its anti-Microsoft status than its merits.
And as for the newly released BlackBerry Storm, Needham Wolf notes that it will likely not have a significant impact on iPhone market share.
“The Storm will probably ignite an upgrade cycle among some BlackBerry users, but it’s unlikely to lure a significant number of mobile phone users into the BlackBerry fold.”