iPhone Smashes Windows Mobile and Motorola in 4Q

Steve Ballmer must be banging his head against the wall after dismissing the idea of the iPhone as "silly" last year: market research firm Canalys has confirmed the trend announced by Jobs at MacWorld, with the iPhone grabbing 28 percent of the U.S. "converged-device" market (aka smartphones) for the fourth quarter, smashing the combined Windows Mobile phones and Motorola. RIM was first with 41 percent, but Canalys thinks the evolution is "striking." Is this beginner's luck or a real success that is here to stay?

Apple's success as a new entrant is striking, but it will face challenges to keep its momentum going, said Canalys analyst Pete Cunningham in a statement. Historically, vendors with just one smartphone design, no matter how good, struggle, he said. That means Apple will have to create and refresh a portfolio of devices if it wants to increase its market share, he said.

Worldwide, Nokia takes the first place with 52.8 percent followed by RIM with 11.4 and Apple with 6.5. When you think that Apple is only available in a few countries, this is a particularly stunning feat.

Gawker Media polls require Javascript; if you're viewing this in an RSS reader, click through to view in your Javascript-enabled web browser.

[NYT]