Smart Phone Smackdown

Rumours of an iPhone price break makes economic sense for Apple, considering a new report about its share in the smart phone market.

Research firm IDC’s vendor survey shows that Apple’s iPhone had 19.2 percent of the U.S. market for smart phones during the first quarter of 2008. That was down from 26.7 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Before you can say “holiday sales,” note too that Research In Motion’s BlackBerry took 44.5 percent of the market during Q1-2008–up from its 35.1 share in Q4-2007. IDCÂ analyst Ramon Llamas noted BlackBerry’s appeal to so-called “prosumers”–people who use the latest tech in both their professional and personal lives.

Whatever the reason, BlackBerry’s resurgence comes despite many observers’ predictions that Apple would dominate smart phones. Considering improvements (real or predicted)Â in the latest versions of both BlackBerry and iPhone, neither handset will be the obvious winner, technologically-speaking. They may have to resort to a price war.

Considering that, the $199 iPhone rumours sound great not just from a consumer standpoint, but from a strategic one as well. Though that could mean falling prices for BlackBerrys too–negating corporate strategy, but improving things for consumers even more.

The smart phone smackdown has begun.