iPhone takes the crown

You know, it seemed a big deal when the iPhone was announced in 2007 - but I don't think any of us realised just how big a deal it'd become. According to the latest figures by Canalys, who do, er, numbery stuff, the iPhone is now the most popular smartphone in the US.

To be more precise, Apple is the biggest hardware manufacturer in terms of market share, overtaking BlackBerry maker RIM, which has held the top spot for forever man. A whopping 26.2% of smartphones bought between July and September - after the iPhone 4 came out, but during all that overblown fuss about its antenna - were iPhones. (That's all the more impressive when you think that Apple only sells two models of iPhone at any given time, while other manufacturers like RIM have six or seven models on sale at any one time).

It's not all good news for Apple, though. In terms of software platforms - which is super-important for getting app developers to stick around - it's getting its rear handed to it on a plate by Android. Lots of different manufacturers' smartphones all use a version of Google's mobile OS, handing it 43.6% of the US smartphone market. Android sales have increased by more than ten times since last year.

Where will it all end? We reckon Apple will stay the largest single manufacturer, but Android's multi-manufacturer model will leave it by far the most popular software platform. A bit like the situation with the Mac and the PC, when you think about it...

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