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BlackBerry shows iPhone who's the boss - But for how long?

Given all the frenzy over the iPhone it's easy to forget that there are other smartphones on the market. Latest data from IDC indicates strong BlackBerry sales for Q1, easily beating Apple's offering.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

Given all the frenzy over the iPhone it's easy to forget that there are other smartphones on the market. Latest data from IDC indicates strong BlackBerry sales for Q1, easily beating Apple's offering.

The first quarter report shows that BlackBerry took 44.5 % of the U.S. market, up from 35.1% in the fourth quarter of last year, said Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC.

At the same time, the iPhone's U.S. market share dropped to 19.2% for first quarter, down from 26.7% of the market in the fourth quarter of 2007, Llamas said. A drop in the first quarter could be expected, he said, since the fourth quarter includes the holiday shopping season.

ComputerWorld attributes part of this success to RIM's consumer marketing campaign and part to a post-Holiday sales slump. Personally, I'm not so sure that this explains the data adequately. Far more important to Apple is the dampening effect constant iPhone 2.0 chatter that fills the tech media is having on sales. This, combined with Apple clearing inventory lines, is likely to have a greater effect on sales than RIM ads.

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The current iPhone is getting old, and as such it's losing its appeal (especially in markets where it's been for sale for close to a year now). The real test for RIM will be whether the company can keep sales up in the face of the iPhone 2.0, especially if the new model sports the most desirable feature of all - a substantially lighter price tag.

While the next-gen iPhone isn't going to dominate the media as much as the first incarnation, I wouldn't be surprised to see the newer model being a winner as far as consumers are concerned.

The iPhone 2.0 is going to be big. Really big. Much bigger than the first iPhone could have ever hoped to be.

Thoughts?

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