How did the iPhone stack up against the competition during Q4? Very well! Research firm Canalys says Apple (AAPL) accounted for 6.5% of the global smartphone market, third place behind Nokia’s 52.9% (NOK) and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion’s 11.4% (RIMM).
Good news for everyone involved: the smartphone market itself is growing at a rapid clip, with unit sales up 72% year-over-year to 35.5 million devices in Q4. And growth is accelerating — Q4 was the best y/y growth quarter all year.
But Apple’s performance was especially impressive considering it was only available in four countries — the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany — through one carrier each. Nokia, RIM, etc., are available on many more carriers, in many more countries.
Meanwhile, the FT reports that KPN chief Ad Scheepbouwer would love to offer the phone in the Netherlands, where it’s not on sale yet. But he has a weird way of showing his fondness for Steve Jobs’ gadget — by insulting it. “I had one and I thought it was a pretty useless phone, to be quite honest,” he told the FT. “The battery ran out in no time. I didn’t like the touch screen.”
He also said it hasn’t had much impact on KPN’s business in Germany, where rival T-Mobile is Apple’s exclusive carrier partner. Scheepbouwer “said the 70,000 iPhones sold since November in Germany was ‘not a particularly impressive number’ compared with the 700,000 net new customers [his company] gained in the fourth quarter, its fastest growth since 2000.” Way to talk your way onto Steve’s gravy train, Mr. Scheepbouwer.
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