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Apple second only to Nokia in Euro smartphone biz

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Apple has overtaken Research in Motion in the race to be Europe's top smartphone seller, figures from market watcher Canalys show.

During Q2, Apple shifted 1.9m iPhones in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, up from 200,000 in Q2 2008. That took its market share from 1.3 per cent to 13.6 per cent, enough to put it just ahead of Rim, which came out of Q2 2009 with a share of 10.3 per cent.

Rim sold 1.4m BlackBerries in the quarter, up from 900,000 a year ago, still big growth in anyone's book.

Both firms have a way to go to challenge Nokia, which sold 8.9m smartphones in EMEA last quarter for a market share of 64 per cent. But the Finnish phone giant's share is being eroded: it was down 7.2 percentage points between Q2 2009 and Q2 2008, when it sold 9m smartphones. The bulk of Rim and Apple gains came at the expense of other firms.

In North America, Rim was ahead of Apple with a 52 per cent share to the iPhone's 23.3 per cent. HTC made a small third-place showing with a share of just 5.6 per cent. It and everyone else saw its share decline - Apple and Rim both commanded a greater share of the market than they did a year ago.

Nokia, absent from the North America top three, lead the pack in Asia Pacific with a 59.7 per cent share of the market, up from 50.6 per cent in the year-ago quarter. Second- and third-placed Sharp and Fujitsu both saw sales and share dip.

Worldwide, Nokia, RIM and Apple took the top three slots in Q2, achieving smartphone market shares of 44.3, 20.9 and 13.7 per cent, respectively. Nokia's share was down year on year, from 45.5 per cent, while the other two companies enjoyed increased market share, from 16.7 per cent (Rim) and 2.1 per cent (Apple).

The success seen by Apple and Rim pushed Windows Mobile's share of the smartphone operating system market below ten per cent for the first time in ages, falling from 14.3 per cent to just nine per cent of the market. Symbian, the market leader, saw its share slip from 58.2 per cent to 50.3 per cent.

Google's Android took 2.8 per cent, up from zero a year ago, but not enough to pass the 'others' category, on 3.3 per cent. It almost certainly will do so in the coming quarters, we say. ®

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