RIM captures over 50% of US smartphone market

Research in Motion captured more than 50% of the US smartphone market in the second quarter, up sharply from first quarter levels, according to research firm IDC.

An Associated Press report further quoted IDC saying Apple and Palm both lost share in the second three months of the year.

The IDC numbers show that Canada-based RIM, maker of the wildly popular BlackBerry wireless device, held 53.6% of the US market for smartphones in the second quarter, up from 44.5% in the first quarter, the Associated Press report said.

The report further quoted Ryan Reith, a senior research analyst at IDC, saying RIM's strong market position was driven in large part by the recent release of two new BlackBerry devices, the Curve and the Pearl, for Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless networks.

Curve was launched with both networks in the second quarter of this year, while Pearl was launched with the two networks in the fourth quarter of last year.

RIM launched the Pearl with AT&T Wireless and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile, which both rely on GSM technology, in late 2006. It launched the Curve on those networks in mid-2007.

IDC's numbers show that Apple's share of the US smartphone market tumble to 7.4% in the second quarter, from 19.2% in the first quarter, as consumers waited for the July release of the iPhone 3G to upgrade their devices.

The iPhone 3G sales, Reith said, should show up in the third quarter for Apple.