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iPhone beats RIM for reliability, sales, consumer favour

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Apple's iPhone 3G was the US' most popular consumer handset in Q3, helping the company become the world's number two smartphone supplier in the same quarter. Oh, and business users reckon the iPhone more reliable that BlackBerries and Palms.

Market watcher NPD today revealed that during Q3, the iPhone brought to an end the Motorola Razr's three-year reign as the handset US adults most favour.

NPD's retail-derived sales figures put the Razr in second place ahead of the BlackBerry Curve, the LG Rumor and the LG enV2.

Separately, Canalys said Apple's 6.9m Q3 iPhone shipments put it second only to Nokia among the list of leading global smartphone suppliers.

Nokia shipped just under 15.5m smartphones in Q3, giving it 38.9 per cent of the market. Apple's share was 17.3 per cent, just ahead of Research in Motion's 15.2 per cent. Motorola and HTC came in fourth and fifth place, respectively, each taking 5.5 per cent of the market.

Apple's success a shifting units made it the second biggest mobile OS supplier, its 17.3 per cent share of the market putting it behind Symbian (46.6 per cent) and ahead of RIM (15.2 per cent). Windows Mobile was found in 13.6 per cent of the handsets shipped in Q3, while Linux grabbed 5.1 per cent of the market.

Finally, independent warranty seller SquareTrade said late last week that the original iPhone had a failure rate of 5.6 per cent, as measured by the percentage of iPhone owners who made a claim on one of the company's warranties during the their first 12 months of ownership.

That compares to a figure of 12 per cent among BlackBerry owners and 16 per cent of Palms.

Extend that to two years, and the malfunction rate rises to 9-11 per cent for the iPhone, 14.3 per cent for BlackBerries and 21 per cent for Palm Treos.

SquareTrade's numbers come from an analysis of 15,000 mobile phone warranties. Alas, SquareTrade didn't say how the three named vendors' products compared to other handsets when it comes to failure rates. And it's worth remembering that these are warranty claims centring on hardware problems - software issues were likely dealt with by the suppliers and therefore not counted by SquareTrade.

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