Research firm Gartner reports that Apple sold 1.73 million iPhones in the first three months of the year, taking a 5.3 percent share of the worldwide smart-phone market. The iPhone was launched in the U.S. last June, and overseas markets have been added gradually.
Sales for the smart phone in North America were 7.3 million units, up 106 percent from the first quarter of last year. RIM, with a U.S. market share of 42 percent.
“Despite economic concerns, the smart phone market continued to expand in the United States, driven by heavy advertising and strong marketing promotions as more devices reached mass-market price points,” said Gartner analyst Hugues De La Vergne.
Smart phone sales worldwide were 32.2 million, up 29 percent from a year ago, but half of that increase was due to the North American surge.
Nokia stands as the global market share leader with 46.7 percent. However, its market presence is minimal in the U.S., and its models that don’t fit well into the U.S. concept of a smart phone. The Nokia phones can run a variety of applications and have advanced hardware features, but mostly lack the alphabetic keyboards and touch screens.