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iPhone with 2.3% Market Share and Even Attracting Lower Income Households

The Register reports on iPhone marketshare numbers for Q3 2008 as reported by research firm Strategy Analytics.

According to the latest numbers, Apple ranks 6th amongst phone suppliers with 2.3% marketshare for Q3 2008. The numbers reflect unit sales rather than revenue. In contrast, Steve Jobs pointed out that when ranked by revenue, Apple ranks #3 amongst phone suppliers. This, of course, reflects the higher average cost of the iPhone. Still, 2.3% brings them well above their initial plan to reach 1% of mobile phone sales.

In absolute numbers, Apple still falls well behind Nokia which is the present market leader in unit sales with 117.8 million phones sold in Q3. A direct comparison is difficult, of course, since Apple only has a single high-end phone currently available, as compared to a multitude of Nokia models which span many price points.

Apple, however, appears to be making inroads with even lower-income households according to a new study. ComScore reports that the fastest growth in iPhone sales came from households that earn less than the median income. Despite its higher relative cost, the iPhone is said to help reduce costs by replacing a number of other devices:

"We see that lower-income consumers are increasingly turning to mobile devices to access the Internet, to listen to music and for email," said Mark Donovan, senior analyst at comScore. "A 'Swiss-Army knife of a device' like the iPhone offers a phone, a music player, a camera and a way to connect to the Internet, which may appeal to consumers cutting back their spending on gadgets."

Recent analyst speculation suggest that Apple could afford to drop the sales price of the iPhone even further to $99 to attract even more customers. Steve Jobs has suggested that Apple needs to be aware of a possible "price umbrella" below the iPhone that competitors may take advantage of.