While Apple CEO Steve Jobs may be touting Apple as the largest mobile device manufacturer worldwide on revenue, it might raise an eyebrow or two to learn that the iPhone actually lost almost 2 percent market share in the fourth quarter of 2009.
According to data from ABI Research, Apple dropped from 18.1 percent market share in the third quarter to 16.6 percent market share in the fourth quarter. ABI found that overall, the smartphone market grew by 26 percent, which only compounds the extent of Apple’s rare loss of market share.
Despite a dip in share, Apple isn’t exactly suffering. The company always has been more concentrated on revenue than unit sales and has the luxury of bolstering its iPhone business with sales from its Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. Apple last week reported record earnings, including revenue for the fourth quarter of $15.68 billion.
The news comes after reports over the weekend claiming that Jobs, in a town hall-style meeting with employees, said that Google is out to kill the iPhone. Over the past 12 months, the iPhone has seen a marked increase in competition from the likes of Android OEMs like HTC and Motorola.
But it’s not just Android that’s threatening. Both Samsung and Nokia continued to grab large percentages of the handset market. ABI reports that Nokia maintained 37.7 percent of the overall handset market, and Samsung actually grew its worldwide share, going from 15.2 percent in June of 2008 to 20.5 percent in December of 2009.