After a good amount of internal fuss these past few weeks, BlackBerry-maker RIM is yet again on an uphill battle after losing 1 million users in the US from February to May. Previously in second place for smartphone user shares, the recent unimpressive sales numbers tugged RIM down to third, as Apple advances from third to second.
Google’s Android remains to be the strongest hold as a smartphone platform, gaining 3 million new users across its Android-powered devices, but Apple, being a single manufacturer coming second place shows that their smartphones boasts aesthetics like no other.
According to comScore, Apple comprises 26.6 percent of the total US market share as of May 2011, up by 1.4 percent from the previous quarter while Android was the only platform to gain significant shares by growing 5.1 percent to 38.1 percent. Android and Apple aside, the rest of the players lost shares with RIM as the recipient of the most fatal blow, losing 1 million users or 4.2 percent of its share. Microsoft and Palm lost 1.9 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.
As a company running its own devices, Apple is the single riser that gained the biggest growth. Apple got a 1.2 percent increase as of May, while device market leader Samsung fell flat at 24.8. LG gained 0.2 percent while Motorola and RIM took a step back. Apple is slowly regaining its lost market share to Android, expanding its carrier and pricing options. With high expectations iOS 5, iCloud and Google+, the competition is just about to get white hot.
Apart from the rumors that have been running wild lately, Apple is reportedly manufacturing 25 million for its Q3 release. It’s still unclear whether the new device will be called an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 4GS, but it is guaranteed to be thinner and lighter than the previous version and will also sport an 8-megapixel camera. The device will have Qualcomm wireless baseband chipsets like its Verizon iPhone offerings, but there’s no word yet for GSM and CDMA functionalities. Apple has already placed order for the new iPhone’s key components.
“Apple’s sales estimates of the new iPhone is quite aggressive. It told us to prepare to help the company meet its goal of 25 million units by the end of the year,” one supplier source told the WSJ. They went on to say that Apple will initially produce a few million units, and that the components are expected at Apple’s iPhone assembler Foxconn (a subsidiary of Hon Hai) in August.
There were also sources revealing that iPhone 5 shipping could suffer delays as the device is complicated and more difficult to assemble. Previous reports also said that Apple ordered Taiwanese manufacturer Pegatron to produce 15 million smartphones, but a WSJ report said 25 million and under Foxconn, a company which Apple has relied on for iPhone production over the years. However, the giant must’ve been quite alarmed of the company’s multiple instances of employee suicide attempts, 4 of which were successful. The reason behind the tragedies was said to be harsh working conditions.