RIM’s Blackberry commands 46 per cent of a US smartphone market that shows strong growth, according to a report by Synergy Research Group.

The US smartphone market grew 67.3 per cent in the first half of 2008 with RIM’s Blackberry the firm leader with nearly half of all sales.

However, even with Q2 shipments dropping in anticipation of the new 3G iPhone, Apple retained the second place spot for the first half of the year with Motorola a close third.

Aaron Vance, senior analyst, Synergy Research Group, said Apple’s performance since entering the smartphone market suggested RIM’s margin of lead may soon be under pressure.

Apple’s iPhone continues to break records, shipping over a million units in 3 consecutive quarters.

“Despite the rock star status of the Apple iPhone, the Blackberry dominates the US market with a market share of 46 per cent (for the first half of 2008) versus Apple’s 15 per cent,” he said.

“But with iPhone’s continued strong success, which only took Apple a year to achieve a number two ranking, it may be sooner than later that Apple is challenging the Blackberry, a notion that would have seemed impossible to many a year or two ago.”

Q2 2008 US Smartphone Vendor Shipment Growth
Manufacturer Q-Q Y-Y
Apple -64.2% 125.6%
RIM 8.1% 92.1%
Sony Ericsson 9.4% 32.9%
Samsung -1.1% 31.3%
LG 10.5% 29.4%
Motorola -28.6% -18.2%
Nokia 43.6% -24.5%

The Synergy Q2 2008 Mobile Handset Market Share report said the strong first half performance was good news for operators having a greater opportunity to increase revenues per subscriber in a market that is a leader in consumer voice usage.

Motorola, currently the number one US Mobile Handset vendor with 25 per cent share, is showing signs of difficulty in the fast growing US smartphone business.

In Q2 2008, Motorola was the only vendor in the Synergy study posting double-digit drops for both sequential and annual growth.

In the first half of 2008, the US smartphone market represented 12.2 per cent of total mobile handsets shipped.
This compares to fewer than 10 per cent in the first half of 2007.

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