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NPD: iPhone 3G Grabs Top Smartphone Share

The launch of the iPhone 3G raised Apple’s share of the smartphone market, and the device became the best-selling smartphone during the June-August period through consumer retail channels, The NPD Group found in surveying consumers.

During June through August, the four best-selling smartphones based on unit sales to consumers were the Apple iPhone 3G followed by the RIM BlackBerry Curve, RIM BlackBerry Pearl and Palm Centro. NPD said. The iPhone 3G is also the second best-selling mobile phone handset through U.S. consumer retail channels after Motorola’s Razr V3, NPD also found.

The iPhone 3G is in so much demand that 30 percent of the people who bought the iPhone 3G from June through August switched carriers to AT&T, NPD said. The iPhone 3G operates only on the AT&T network in the U.S.

Before the iPhone 3G launch, NPD continued, iPhones accounted for 11 percent of the consumer smartphone market from January through May. With the iPhone 3G launch, Apple’s share from January through August grew to 17 percent, NPD said.

NPD attributed the iPhone 3G’s rise to its 3G cellular technology and carrier-subsidized price.