Apple iPhone loses market share

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Judging from Apple's solid financial results last week, you wouldn't think that the copper-bottomed Cupertino could possibly take a dent in its market share.

But that, according to a report from ABI Research and reported in the Wall Street Journal, is exactly what's happened.

According to the figures, while Apple iPhone sales grew in the fourth quarter and sold 8.7 million iPhones, the smartphone market grew by 26 percent, with Motorola and Nokia snapping at Steve Jobs heels.

Nokia, worldwide, still far outpaces Apple on market share, but has clearly been discomfited by Apple's success.

What's clear is that Apple certainly knows how to make a profitable product - reports earlier this week suggested that it had sourced as much as 20 percent of NAND Flash from the major suppliers such as Samsung.

Analysts suggested that it had got special favors from Samsung in the last quarter of 2009, meaning considerable discounts on the components it supplied.

It must rankle to Samsung a little that it has to sell its components to Apple cheap, while on the other hand it knows the firm sells its iPhones high. But that's the nature of the Apple beast - and its strategy has proved sure fire, so far.