Apple iPhone smartphone market share surges; RIM slips

Apple's first quarter market share surges in the first quarter thanks to strong global demand. RIM may be hearing footsteps.

Apple had 16.1 percent of the smartphone market in the first quarter, up from 10.9 percent a year ago, according to IDC data. The news comes as Apple's iPhone rollout in China and other international markets accelerates its share gains.

IDC on Friday released its global smartphone market share standings. The big growth move comes from Apple. Of course, Apple indicated as much with its stellar earnings report last month. International demand led the iPhone to better than expected results.

Last month, Apple operating chief Tim Cook said:

If you look in terms of the geographies, we had some staggering growth rates, as you mentioned. If you look at Asia Pacific as an example, the iPhone units in Asia Pacific grew 474% year-over-year. Japan grew 183. Europe grew 133. So these are some fabulous numbers we’re seeing, just incredible demand for iPhone.

Overall, smartphone vendors shipped 54.7 million units in the first quarter, up 56.7 percent from a year ago. Smartphones accounted for 18.8 percent of all mobile phones in the first quarter, up from 14.4 percent in 2009.

Among the key data points:

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