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Handset Vendors In The U.S. Ranked

With the final numbers in from IDC, we now have a pretty clear picture of how the mobile market in the United States played out in the fourth quarter of 2008. Who was on top, and who wasn't?
With the final numbers in from IDC, we now have a pretty clear picture of how the mobile market in the United States played out in the fourth quarter of 2008. Who was on top, and who wasn't?Samsung's solid growth throughout 2008 coupled with Motorola's disastrous 38% drop in sales led to the Korean maker of mobile devices overtaking Motorola as top handset vendor in the United States. Samsung reached 22% of the U.S. market and Motorola grasped onto 21.6%. In 2007, Motorola held onto 33.4% of the U.S. market and Samsung 18.1%. The reversal in ranking shows how drastically different the two companies performed in 2008.

LG wasn't too far behind Motorola, with 20.7% of the U.S. market. If Motorola's 2009 is as bad as its 2008, it wouldn't be surprising to see LG overtake Motorola in the rankings.

Fourth place falls to Research In Motion, which sported a nice gain from 4.5% of the market in 2007 to 9% in the fourth quarter 2008. Nearly one in 10 people across the United States is carrying a BlackBerry.

Nokia -- the No. 1 provider of cell phones in the rest of the world -- nabbed 8.5% of the U.S. market in the fourth quarter. That's down from 10% a year ago.

Apple took sixth place with 4% of the U.S. cell phone market. Not bad for only being in the game for 18 months. I have to wonder what percentage of the market RIM had when it was 18 months old.

Sony Ericsson, Kyocera, Sanyo, and Palm took places seven through 10.

The situation is quite different if you look just at smartphones.

According to IDC's numbers, RIM holds 49% of the U.S. smartphone market, with Apple ranking No. 2 at 21%. Those two are followed by Palm with 9%, Samsung with 6%, and Motorola with 5%.

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
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Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter
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Carlo Massimo, Contributing Writer
Salvatore Salamone, Managing Editor, Network Computing