The iPhone 3G successfully led Apple to more than double its share of the smartphone market before the start of 2009, according to late data from Gartner. Apple jumped from just 5.2 percent of all smartphones in fall 2007 to 10.7 percent just a year later with 4.1 million iPhones sold. The gain came mostly at Nokia's expense, as the company dropped from 50.9 percent to just 40.8 percent at the same time; its sales of the advanced devices dropped a significant 17 percent to 15.6 million examples.
Other companies also profited from the shift and in some cases significantly eclipsed Apple, however. Research in Motion's BlackBerry grew a dramatic 85 percent in sales to top 7.4 million phones, pushing it from 10.9 percent to 19.5 percent of all devices. HTC claimed the immediate market share position below Apple at 4.3 percent as it shipped 20 percent more phones than the year before, at 1.6 million. Samsung fell just short of this mark but was proportionately the fastest riser of the group, jumping 138 percent in phone sales to near HTC's 1.6 million and garnering a 4.2 percent share.
While Gartner's research head Roberta Cozza notes that the poor world economy slowed the growth of smartphones to 3.7 percent year-over-year, the analysts don't specifically explain the increasing backlash against Nokia. However, the Finnish company has notably been slow to adopt touchscreens and had only just released its first such phone, the 5800 XpressMusic, in a limited form at the very end of the year. Most of its other smartphones are traditional number pad designs and therefore also suffer against the BlackBerry line's emphasis on keyboards.
Gains made by HTC can be partly attributed to its release of the first-ever Android phone, the T-Mobile G1. Samsung primarily ships Windows Mobile smartphones but has also had some success with a limited number of Symbian devices.