Apple iPhone Outsells All Smartphones In U.S. In July - InformationWeek

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Apple iPhone Outsells All Smartphones In U.S. In July

The real proof of whether Apple has a big winner will be determined in the coming months as demand patterns stabilize, research firm iSuppli said.

The Apple iPhone led smartphone sales in the United States in July, beating Research In Motion's BlackBerry, the Palm Treo, and other rivals, a market research firm said Tuesday.

In addition, iPhone sales equaled those of the most popular feature phone in the United States, LG's Chocolate, iSuppli said. The Apple gadget, a combination media player and mobile phone, accounted for 1.8% of all handset sales in the United States.

ISuppli attributed the meteoric rise of the iPhone in large part to demand built up by months of hype leading up to the gadget's release on June 29. The real proof of whether Apple has a big winner will be determined in the coming months as demand patterns stabilize.

Nevertheless, the first full month of sales is impressive, given that the iPhone beat out well-entrenched competitors. "While iSuppli hasn't collected historical information on this topic, it's likely that the speed of the iPhone's rise to competitive dominance in its segment is unprecedented in the history of the mobile-handset market," the research firm said in a statement.

ISuppli predicts Apple will ship 4.5 million iPhones this year. By 2011, the company is expected to ship 30 million units. Currently, the devices only are available through Apple and AT&T, the exclusive service provider.

The typical iPhone buyer in July was male, 35 years or younger, and held a four-year college degree or higher. The actual breakdown of iSuppli's survey of iPhone buyers was 57% were 35 years old or younger, 52% male, 48% female, and 62% college educated. In addition, one out of four iPhone buyers switched wireless carriers to AT&T.

Based on iSuppli's definition, the iPhone falls between a smartphone and a feature phone. The device isn't quite a smartphone because a user can't load third-party software. On the other hand, the iPhone is more feature rich than the typical feature phone, such as LG's Chocolate.

Nevertheless, Apple shipped more iPhones in July in the U.S. than RIM did BlackBerry devices and Palm did Treo handsets, iSuppli said. IPhone shipments also easily beat smartphone shipments from Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung.

Despite its initial popularity, not all iPhone customers are happy with their purchase. At least three class-action lawsuits have been filed against Apple, claiming the company didn't do an adequate job of telling buyers that the device's battery cannot be replaced without incurring more than $100 in cost to replace the power supply and to maintain service during the process. Buyers cannot easily remove the battery, so the device has to be sent back to Apple.

Another class-action suit filed in New York last month claims Apple misled consumers by not adequately explaining the roaming charges attached to using the iPhone outside coverage areas.

Meanwhile, Apple is expected to launch on Wednesday a new line of iPods that observers say will have many of the same features as the iPhone, but without the voice communications. Apple, which plans to make the announcement in San Francisco, has not confirmed any of reports.

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