iPhone 3GS challenges RIM’s control of smartphone market

The iPhone 3GS has reportedly placed Apple “within striking distance” of claiming first place in the US consumer smartphone market. According to a ChangeWave Research survey, Club Cupertino has experienced a “huge” jump in recent months – with the company now controlling 30 percent of the sector.

“Not only has the iPhone 3GS release enabled [Apple] to gain 5-points overall, for the first time it has also placed them within striking distance of the number one spot in the consumer market,” explained Paul Carton of ChangeWave.

“Apple also remains the leader in terms of planned buying going forward — 36 percent of those who plan to purchase a smart phone in the next 90 days say they’ll get an iPhone.”

In contrast, Carton noted that RIM (Research In Motion) has fallen one point to a 40 percent market share and was currently at its “lowest level” in two years.

“RIM is still in second with 27 percent of planned purchases — up 4-pts since June, but below its percentage from a year ago,” said Carton.

Meanwhile, Palm remained “far behind” in third place with a 7 percent share.

“We note that this is the first survey in nearly two years where [Palm’s] share hasn’t fallen — and that’s a clearly encouraging sign,” added Carton.