BlackBerry Overtakes iPhone as Bestselling U.S. Smartphone in Q1
Apple shouldn't get too comfortable with the success of their iPhone as Blackberry has regained the title of best-selling U.S. smartphone for the first quarter of 2009. According to data from NPD Group, the top 5 smart phones were:
1. BlackBerry Curve (all 8300 models)
2. Apple iPhone
3. BlackBerry Storm
4. BlackBerry Pearl
5. T-Mobile G1
BlackBerry also offers multiple models which are also represented on the top sales list. NPD attributes the surge to a number of factors including aggressive giveaways as well as broader availability of the BlackBerry across the four major U.S. national carriers.
The data is interesting to see after there have been persistent rumors that Apple might try to expand the iPhone's market penetration through both a "Lite" version and support on additional U.S. carriers. DaringFireball's John Gruber believes that Apple will model the iPhone product line expansion after the iPod's:
Apple went on to repeatedly improve upon the iPod in two ways: on the high end by producing new devices with the same shape and price but with new features (additional storage, color screens, larger screens, video, etc.); on the low end by taking the existing features and making them smaller and cheaper.
The reason why Apple did this with the iPod, and why I'm convinced they'll do it again with the iPhone, is that when it comes to managing the balance between per-unit profit and overall market share, Apple is determined to err on the side of market share.
Gruber, of course. notes this plan is very different than Apple's Mac strategy in the much more mature PC market. He also believes this is the reason why Apple will eventually have to broaden the iPhone's availability beyond AT&T.