According to data from the NPD Group’s latest Smartphone Market Update report, the BlackBerry Curve unseated the iPhone 3G as the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. in Q1 2009. The iPhone 3G came in second, followed by the BlackBerry Storm, BlackBerry Pearl, and the T-Mobile G1. NPD attributes the jump in BlackBerry sales to Verizon Wireless’ “buy-one-get-one” promotion. BlackBerry maker RIM’s consumer smartphone market share increased 15 percent to nearly 50 percent of the smartphone market in Q1 2009 versus the prior quarter, while both Apple and Palm saw their share decline by about 10 percent. Overall, smartphones made up 23 percent of all U.S. handset sales in the quarter, compared to 17 percent in Q1 2008.
“Verizon Wireless’s aggressive marketing of the BlackBerry Storm and its buy-one-get-one BlackBerry promotion to its large customer base contributed to RIM capturing three of the top five positions,” said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at The NPD Group. “The more familiar, and less expensive, Curve benefited from these giveaways and was able to leapfrog the iPhone, due to its broader availability on the four major U.S. national carriers.”