RIM falters as Apple and HTC strike ahead - RIM

The next three months are set to show record growth in the smartphone market, with Apple and HTC leading the charge at the expense of Motorola and RIM, according to a survey by ChangeWave.

Apple has gained a one percent increase in market share to 34 percent, up from the previous survey in March. RIM, on the other hand, has dropped four percent to 34 percent, merely putting it on level with Apple instead of the leader with its BlackBerry devices.

HTC, however, is the big winner. It managed to increase its own market share from 6 percent to 8 percent, revealing where much of RIM's losses have gone. Its range of Android phones have contributed to this strong growth.

Motorola has managed to stay in the same place it was three months ago with a 6 percent market share.

The launch of the iPhone 4 has driven Apple's sales considerably, with many still wanting to get their hands on one. 52 percent of those who planned to buy a smartphone within the next three months said they would like an iPhone, up 21 percent from iPhone demand in March. They may regret the decision, however, considering the iPhone 4 has been slated for its faulty antennas and bad signal, not to mention Microsoft's comparison of it to Vista.

Ninteteen percent of future buyers said they would buy a HTC instead, up from 12 percent previously. Motorola and RIM both saw losses, with Motrola down 16 percent to nine percent and RIM down from 14 percent to 6 percent. The previous survey showed three percent wanting a Palm device, but no one wanted one now, most likely due to Palm being bought out by HP.

As for customer satisfaction, iPhone users top the polls. 73 percent said they were “very satisified” with their device, but that's down four pints from 77 percent in the previous survey. We imagine the drop is due to the numerous iPhone 4 complaints, while content with older models remains high.

HTC again came in second place, with 39 percent of its customers saying they are very satisified. Motorola and Palm were not far behind in joint third place with 34 percent satisfaction level. RIM, however, has fallen into sixth place with 30 percent customer satisfaction, which shows consistent drops since September 2008, when it had a 55 percent satisfaction rating.

This suggests that RIM, above all others, is set to lose its previous dominance in the smartphone market. With BlackBerry devices being increasingly seen as business models rather than highstreet ones more and more people are going to Apple or HTC at RIM's expense. Unless RIM changes its game plan it can expect to see further losses to market share and customer satisfaction as the new players take to the stage.

Smartphone Satisfaction