Top-selling smartphones in the U.S. in the fourth quarter

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The following lists the top-selling smartphone models in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to research and consulting firm IDC.

This list counts vendor sales to carriers and channels (sell-in) rather than sales to end users (sell-through). Further, these numbers are based on preliminary data; IDC has not yet finalized its numbers. (Click here for second quarter numbers and click here for third quarter numbers.)

Phone Available at Price IDC's take
10. T-Mobile myTouch 3G
T-Mobile USA

$149.99 with a two-year contract

T-Mobile's follow-up to its first Android-powered device (the G1), the myTouch 3G answers some of the criticisms of its predecessor while staking its own reputation on mobile applications. Gone are the slide-up screen and Qwerty keyboard, replaced by a virtual keyboard on its 3.2-inch touchscreen. As for mobile applications, the myTouch 3G still taps into Android's app market, but features a mobile application algorithm called “Sherpa” that searches for and recommends other mobile applications based on user habits.
9. Research In Motion BlackBerry Tour
blackberry tour
Alltel, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless Ranging from free to $149.99 with a two-year contract, depending on carrier The first of several BlackBerry devices on our list, the BlackBerry Tour is a cross between the first and second generation high-end BlackBerry Bold devices, but for CDMA networks. Like the BlackBerry 8830, the BlackBerry Tour can be used for global roaming when overseas, and upgrades to Rev A connectivity for domestic use. From a feature standpoint, the BlackBerry Tour offers GPS and Bluetooth connectivity (no WiFi) as well as music and video.
8. Palm Pre
Palm Pre
Sprint $149.99 with a two year contract Since its launch in June of 2009, the Palm Pre has received numerous upgrades to its webOS, expanded its mobile application selection, and reduced its price from $199.99. Demand for the device has cooled somewhat at Sprint, and the company released its Palm Pixi midway through the quarter. Those waiting for the Pre's arrival at rival CDMA carrier Verizon Wireless saw their patience rewarded when the Palm Pre Plus was launched at the end of January.
7. Research In Motion BlackBerry Storm (including the Storm 9530 and the Storm 2 9550)
Research In Motion BlackBerry Storm (including the Storm 9530 and the Storm 2 9550)
Verizon Wireless Ranging from free to $179.99, depending on model Nearly a year after Research In Motion launched its first touchscreen-enabled BlackBerry device, the BlackBerry Storm 9530, the company launched its follow up: the Storm2 9550. The BlackBerry Storm 2 improves upon the touch experience with a new sensor mechanism and electronic feedback, and adds WiFi and increased memory capacity. Although consumer interest has shifted increasingly to touchscreen user interfaces, Research In Motion has made it only a small portion of its overall product portfolio.
6. Research In Motion BlackBerry Bold (including the Bold 9000 and the Bold 9700)
 Research In Motion BlackBerry Bold (including the Bold 9000 and the Bold 9700)
AT&T and T-Mobile USA Ranging from free to $199.99 with a two-year contract, depending on model and carrier Like its Storm product line, Research In Motion refreshed its year-old BlackBerry Bold product line with the addition of the 9700. Compared with its predecessor, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is smaller and lighter, and includes a 3-megapixel camera. Both models feature Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, and 3G connectivity wrapped in premium materials and finish.
5. Research In Motion BlackBerry Pearl (including the 8110, 8120, and the 8130, excluding the BlackBerry Pearl Flip)
Research In Motion BlackBerry Pearl (including the 8110, 8120, and the 8130, excluding the BlackBerry Pearl Flip)
Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, others Ranging from free to $79.99 with a two-year contract, depending on model and carrier Since its debut in late 2006, Research In Motion's BlackBerry Pearl product line continues to find an audience. While the smaller form factor appeals to those who do not want a larger device, the low price attracts messaging-hungry, budget conscious buyers within the mass market.
4. Apple iPhone 3G
Apple iPhone 3G
AT&T

$99 with a two year contract

Apple's second generation iPhone was a popular option for price-conscious Apple iPhone buyers. Although it lacked the speed and storage capacity of its 3G S brethren, users were nonetheless able to have a similar experience on the iPhone 3G and access the thousands of mobile applications on the company's App Store.
3. Motorola Droid
Motorola Droid
Verizon Wireless

$199.99 with a two-year contract

Motorola's much-hyped and highly anticipated Droid launched in the fourth quarter of 2009, positioned as Verizon Wireless's strategic response to the Apple iPhone. Featuring both a generous touchscreen and slide-out Qwerty keyboard as well as Google's Android operating system, the Droid represents Motorola's ability to integrate Android with its product portfolio. Before the end of the year, Motorola announced a total of six Android-powered devices and plans to release another 20 before the end of 2010.
2. Apple iPhone 3GS (including 16 GB and 32 GB versions)
Apple iPhone 3GS (including 16 GB and 32 GB versions)
AT&T

$199 for the 16 GB model, $299 for the 32 GB model

Apple's flagship model continued to attract more users at AT&T during the holiday quarter. Perhaps even more impressive was that customers did not shy away from the iPhone 3GS's price point, which, on average, was significantly higher than most other smartphones on the market. In addition, the iPhone 3GS weathered Verizon Wireless's attempts to show holes in AT&T's network. Still, while network connectivity remains a challenge for the iPhone particularly within key markets, users are quick to point out that the device's multimedia and entertainment capabilities were still usable.
1. Research In Motion BlackBerry Curve (including the 8310, 8320, 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, and the 8900)
Research In Motion BlackBerry Curve (including the 8310, 8320, 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, and the 8900)

Alltel, AT&T, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless

Ranging from free to $149.99

Research In Motion's BlackBerry Curve took top honors during the fourth quarter. The popularity of the BlackBerry Curve was driven by a combination of broad distribution at leading carriers, low price points (depending on model and carrier), and high demand by messaging enthusiasts. For many, the BlackBerry Curve was a popular option for first-time smartphone users, and the full Qwerty keyboard and screen size were welcome improvements from feature phones.

Manufacturers and carriers do not disclose sales information for specific handset models. Therefore, IDC derives sales information from a variety of sources, including interviews with vendors, operators, component and software suppliers and resellers, as well as press releases, marketing and technical literature, white papers, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, quarterly conference calls, reports published in trade and business journals, end-user surveys and other sources. The firm also conducts cross-checks with ODMs and supply chain players.

Finally, for those sticklers in the readership, IDC defines smartphones--"converged mobile devices" in IDC parlance--as those devices that "are either voice or data centric and are capable of synchronizing personal information and/or email with server, desktop or laptop computers. Positioned to solve the ‘multiple device question' and replace the need to carry a mobile phone and a pen-based handheld or a mobile phone and a pager, for example, these devices may also include an expanding list of features such as multimedia or email. These devices must match wireless telephony capability to evolved operating systems or application environments such as the BlackBerry OS, Palm OS, Mac OS X, Microsoft operating systems, Linux, and the Symbian platform. These devices must include the ability to download data to local storage, run applications, and store user data beyond their required PIM capabilities. Converged handheld devices must also offer the full extent of their application processing capability to the user, regardless of network availability."

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