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Apple iPhone storms world smartphone biz

Beat all Windows Mobile devices combined in US

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Apple squeezed itself into third place in the list of world smartphone makers during Q4 2007, pushing ahead of Motorola and Palm and all the Windows Mobile device suppliers.

The iPhone itself may divide opinion but there's no questioning its success. According to market watcher Canalys, Apple shipped 2,320,840 iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2007, just beating Motorola, which shipped 2,301,260 smartphones during the period.

It's important to put those figures into context, specifically Nokia's dominance of the market, which it achieved by shipping 18,802,480 smartphones worldwide. The number-two player, Research in Motion (RIM), shipped 4,046,860 BlackBerries.

Those totals give Nokia a marketshare of 52.9 per cent, RIM 11.4 per cent, and both Apple and Motorola have 6.5 per cent.

Some 35.5m smartphones shipped in Q4, Canalys said. Of those, just over 8m fell into the 'others' category.

Focusing on the US market, Apple took a 28 per cent share, behind only RIM, which accounted for 41 per cent of the market. Third-placed Palm took nine per cent of smartphone shipments. All US Windows Mobile devices vendors combined - and that presumably includes Palm's Windows-based Treos - came to 21 per cent, less than the iPhone's share.

Apple performed less well in Europe, notching up fifth place behind Nokia, RIM, HTC and Motorola. But that stil left it ahead of Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Palm, all of whom have been in the smartphone business for some time.

Not a bad showing for a handset that's less than a year old, has been widely lambasted for lacking features like 3G and GPS, and is so closely tied to certain networks.

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