iPhone Shipments Obliterate HTC, RIM in Second Quarter

Apple Inc. led the smartphone push in the second quarter, shipping about 8.4 million of its coveted iPhones.

And about 3 million of those devices were the brand-new iPhone 4, which was released just a couple of weeks before the quarter ended, ABI Research points out in its new study, Smartphone Market Data.”

Device makers HTC and Research In Motion trailed Apple, although their market share remains sizable. But HTCs growth was more impressive than RIMs. HTC makes the Google Android-based EVO 4G for Sprint Nextel Corp. and the iPhone rival, the HTC Incredible, among several other models. Thanks in part to those handsets, HTC increased its shipments from 3.3 million to 5.3 million units by the start of the third quarter.

BlackBerry maker RIM, on the other hand, only saw its shipments move from 10.4 million to 11.2 million shipments. The company is about to release the BlackBerry Bold 9780, featuring the OS 6, and is banking on that device to help bolster its brand and reputation.

RIM hasnt seen the full benefit of its OS launch yet,” said Michael Morgan, senior analyst for ABI.

All in all, smartphones made up 19 percent of all handsets shipped in the second quarter, ABI found. Thats a 12 percent jump over the first quarter, and a 50 percent leap from the same period a year earlier. Such growth is remarkable in any sector and raises the question of sustainability. Observers tend to agree there are too many mobile operating systems vying for attention and that manufacturers will need to rely on three or four platforms to avoid chaos.

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