iPhone overtakes Motorola in smartphone race

The iPhone has been selling so well across the globe, that it's now taken the number three smartphone slot from Motorola

It's only been available for a year, but the Apple iPhone is already causing major ripples in the mobile phone biz, accounting for 6.5 per cent of all smartphone sales worldwide in Q4 2007.

That puts on a par with struggling Motorola in terms of percentages, but Apple actually sold more hardware - 2,320,840 units compared to Motorola's 2,301,260. Those numbers are better than they look too - Motorola smartphones are easy to find all over the world, while the Apple iPhone has only been available in the US, the UK, France and Germany so far.

The iPhone still has some way to go before it catches up with RIM's Blackberry which takes the number two smartphone slot. It accounted for 11.4 per cent of sales in Q4 2007, or 4,046,860 units sold.

Heading the pack by a long way, of course, is Nokia,which has a staggering 52.9 per cent of the smartphone market, shipping 18,802,480 phones in Q4. It's leadership isn't a surprise given the sheer range of smartphones it offers, let alone regular mobiles, and its long dominance in mobile phones as a whole.

That leaves a total of 22.7 per cent of the smartphone market (8,050,920) being shared by everyone else. The numbers come from hi-tech sector analysts Canalys.

What's worrying for other mobile makers - and providers of mobile phone software like Microsoft with Windows Mobile - is how easily and how quickly Apple has steamed in from nothing 14 months ago.

The trick now is for Apple to not only sustain this level of growth, but to actually accelerate it - we hope to see a much wider range of phones being made available by the company (just as it has with the iPod) and to offer a more compelling feature set, including 3G network connectivity.