Curve Ball: Blackberry Outsells iPhone — Say WHAT?!?

This image described by iPhone, Apple, Palm, Android, BlackBerry, RIM, smartphones, Pre, Curve, G1, Storm, Pearl, Blackberry_curve

Okay, hot shot, pop quiz: what smartphone sold the most units in the first quarter of 2009?

No, it actually WASN'T the iPhone.  Trick question, this being an iPhone blog and all.  Give up?  Take another look at the damn photo.

That's right, the Blackberry Curve.  According to the NPD Group, RIM smoked the House of Jobs between January and April of this year, placing three of their handsets in the Top 5.  The Curve topped the list, followed by the iPhone, two more Crackberries (the touchscreen Storm, then the Pearl), and the Android-powered T1.

How did RIM do it?  Volume, volume, volume.  Unlike the AT&T-exclusive iPhone, Blackberries aren't afraid release the same model phone for all the major carriers.  Verizon chipped in as well, with aggressive BOGO deals and highly attractive single-phone pricing (US$99.00 with a two-year contract, half the cost of the cheapest iPhone).  Not only that, Blackberry sales across the board rose 15%, while Apple and Palm handset sales dropped 10%.  RIM now owns a full fifty percent of the smartphone market.

You could argue that potential iPhone customers are waiting for the rumored 4G version — ditto Palm customers and the Pre — but all of a sudden, the tried-and-true Blackberry design isn't looking like yesterday's technology.

[Via Yahoo! Tech]

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