NPD: Apple passes RIM, Motorola to become third largest phone seller in U.S.

NPD is reporting that Apple has surpassed Research In Motion and Motorola to become the third largest mobile phone vendor in the United States. Apple now holds a 14% share of the market behind LG with 18% and Samsung with 23%. “Apple and Verizon had a very successful launch of the iPhone 4, which allowed the iPhone to expand its market share that was previously held back by its prolonged carrier exclusivity with AT&T,” said NPD’s executive director of industry analysis, Ross Rubin. “While some of that growth came at the expense of Android operating system, Android models still accounted for half of all smartphones sold in the quarter.” Last quarter also marked the first time that U.S. consumers purchased more smartphones than not; 54% of phone purchasers ended up with phones of a higher intelligence. The iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, Motorola DROID X, HTC EVO 4G, and HTC DROID Incredible were the top five smartphones purchased in the States from January to March.

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