Apple Leapfrogs RIM in Smartphone Platform Race

By Beecher Tuttle June 03, 2011

Research in Motion shares dipped on Friday after news broke that Apple has taken over RIM as the nation's number two smartphone platform maker.

In the three month period ending in April, RIM garnered only 25.7 percent of overall market share for smartphones, down from 30.4 percent in the previous quarter, according to market research firm comScore.

Meanwhile, Google's Android platform solidified its lead, jumping to a 36.4 percent share. Apple's OS moved up 1.3 percentage points in the quarter to slip by RIM, which had a commanding lead over the iPhone maker just a few months ago. The change in market share is even more damaging to RIM considering Apple hasn't introduced a new handset since last summer, other than the white version of the previously released iPhone 4.

The Canadian company's shares fell by nearly 4 percent as of early Friday afternoon, marking the first time RIM has traded below $40 in more than two years, according to Reuters. Shares have fallen by more than $40 percent since February.

Brokerage houses Sterne Agee and UBS have both cut their price targets on RIM stock considerably, due to concerns over the impending launch of Apple's iCloud and RIM's management structure, Reuters reports.

The OEM market for the three months ending in April remained relatively static. Samsung lost 0.4 percentage points but retained its comfortable lead over LG.

Apple was the biggest mover of the group, increasing its market share to 8.3 percent, up from 7 percent at the end of January. Motorola and RIM were the biggest losers of the top 5, dropping 0.9 and 0.4 percentage points respectively.

The research firm found that the U.S. smartphone market grew by 13 percent in the three months ending in April. More than 74 million Americans currently own smartphones.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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