BlackBerry Outsells iPhone

    May 4, 2009

An aggressive "buy-one-get-one" campaign by Verizon Wireless helped RIM’s BlackBerry Curve overtake Apple’s iPhone to become the best-selling consumer smartphone in the first quarter of 2009, according to a report by The NPD Group.

RIM’s consumer smartphone market share increased 15 percent to nearly 50 percent of the smartphone market in Q1 2009 versus the previous quarter, as Apple’s and Palm’s share both fell 10 percent.

Based on U.S. consumer sales of smartphone handsets in NPD’s "Smartphone Market Update" report, the first quarter 2009 ranking of the top-five best-selling smartphones is as follows:

1. RIM BlackBerry Curve (all 83XX models)
2. Apple iPhone 3G (all models)
3. RIM BlackBerry Storm
4. RIM BlackBerry Pearl (all models, except flip)
5. T-Mobile G1

Ross Rubin
Ross Rubin

"Verizon Wireless’s aggressive marketing of the BlackBerry Storm and its buy-one-get-one BlackBerry promotion to its large customer base contributed to RIM capturing three of the top five positions," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at The NPD Group.

"The more familiar, and less expensive, Curve benefited from these giveaways and was able to leapfrog the iPhone, due to its broader availability on the four major U.S. national carriers."

Smartphones represented just 17 percent of handset sales volume in Q1 2008, now they account for 23 percent of sales.

"Even in this challenging economy, consumers are migrating toward Web-capable handsets and their supporting data plans to access more information and entertainment on the go," said Rubin.