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Various news outlets have been reporting that despite increased handset sales in Q4 2009, Apple’s iPhone lost global market share.
The Wall Street Journal blog reported earlier this week: “In the last quarter, Apple Inc.’s iPhone did something it’s rarely done before: lose market share. Worldwide, the iconic device accounted for 16.6% of smartphone sales in the fourth quarter, dropping from 18.1% in the third, according to data compiled by ABI Research.”
The article goes on to discuss the possibility of “RAZR burn” — comparing the iPhone to Motorola’s 2004 launch of the Razr phone, which shot to the top of the charts, then faded in popularity over the next couple of years. Staleness of the model is a possibility, but doesn’t explain the drop fully.
The more likely culprit? Android.
The iPhone did not have a realistic competitor until the launch of the DROID late last year. That launch, in conjunction with a handful of other Android phones, has given consumers interested in a different carrier and cheaper handset pricing a number of options. Consumers can now get the iPhone-like touch-screen experience on every major U.S carrier on phones they can get for half the price of the iPhone.
The iPhone 4G, or whatever it’s going to be, needs to be earth shattering if Apple hopes regain it’s share. Android phones are here to stay.