Apple has managed to hold on to its position as the third-largest smartphone maker in the world, says Gartner. The firm's research director, Carolina Milanesi, notes that Apple sold over 5.4 million iPhones in Q209, many times the 892,000 sold in the same quarter of 2008; the difference represents a greater growth than for any other smartphone company. By the end of the 2009 quarter, the business had reached 13.3 percent of worldwide sales. A third-place position was first achieved in Q308, on the back of much wider international distribution.
The industry leader remains Nokia, which though having slipped in marketshare from 47.4 to 45 percent year-over-year, has continued to increase sales from 15.2 million phones to 18.4. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has taken second place, with 7.6 million units and 18.7 percent of the market. Fourth and fifth place in the rankings are HTC and Fujitsu, trailed by a collection of others.
Apple is said to be benefiting from continued international expansion, as well a cheaper iPhone 3G, now priced at $99. The iPhone 3GS could also contribute to growing sales numbers, but only in the second half of the year, Gartner comments. The global recession is meanwhile having less of an impact that feared, as shoppers alternately choose lower-end phones, or go for more expensive models to find more value. Many buyers are thought to be interested in replacing older devices with ones using touchscreens or QWERTY keyboards.