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Palm market share up while iPhone market share shrinks

Mon Jun 2, 2008 - 11:55 AM EDT - By Dan Nimtz

IDC has posted a survey indicating that despite all the hype the iPhone receives, it's market share for the first quarter of 2008 has actually declined. According to the survey, the iPhone's market share shrunk from 26.7% at the end of last year, to 19.2% in the first quarter of this year.

The reason for this drop? Strong increase from RIM's Blackberry line is one reason. The survey showed Blackberry's market share increasing from 35.1 % to 44.5% in the same period. Many believe that RIM's market share increase is due to new, more consumer friendly models, and as a result, appealing to a larger audience than it's traditional business only segment.

Even though Palm's market share has dropped in the last year, the good news for Palm is that it's market share in the last quarter has shown a nice increase - from 7.9% to 13.4%. Credit the Centro's popularity, and it's availability on the AT&T network for the bulk of that gain likely. The Centro has gone a long way to bringing in the much needed, new user to the smartphone camp due to it's small form factor, ease of use, huge software catalog, extremely low price and reliability. While the iPhone has some great features, it still lacks some of the more utilitarian functions such as a physical keyboard, one handed operation, and access to 3rd party applications. This is where the Palm devices more than carry their own against the mighty iPhone and Blackberry.

Palm has also begun to gather more mind share in the last month or so, with the much anticipated new models due this year (Treo 800/850), and the upcoming new OS targeted for next year.

It will be an interesting rest of the year, with the upcoming 3G iPhone, new Blackberrys and Treo models all coming soon. Competition is always a good thing, so it will be fun to watch as product announcements roll out.

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