Apple garnered record share of the smartphone market through the third quarter, hitting 17 percent, but was overtaken by Blackberry maker Research in Motion, IDC said in its latest report.
According to IDC, the iPhone reached its highest volume of 7.4 million units in a single quarter with market share climbing from 16.6 percent to 17.1 percent in the summer.
The research firm contends that the jump is led by the nearly global availability of the iPhone 3G S, which sparked another round of annual replacements for Apple loyalists and the lower price on the iPhone 3G which put the device well within reach of customers wary of the price.
However, the iPhone was overtaken by RIM's record BlackBerry sales, which topped Apple with growing market share from 14.6 percent to 19 percent. RIM's upward path was mainly achieved with BlackBerry's wider distribution and the launch of two new devices in the quarter, the Tour and the Curve 8520, IDC said.
Although the iPhone has struggled within emerging markets, its arrival at China Unicom this year could foreshadow greater shipment volumes.
Nokia and HTC also saw growing market share of 37.9 percent and 5.6 percent respectively thanks to the popularity of individual devices like the N97 and Magic, while Samsung is the only major brand which dropped to 3.5 percent.
The overall smartphone market reached a new record for shipments of 43.3 million units during a single quarter, up 4.2 percent from the 41.5 million units shipped in 3Q08, and up 3.2 percent from shipments of 41.9 million units in 2Q09.
We believe the converged mobile device market to grow faster than the overall mobile phone market, said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team.