iPhone hits new benchmark

Flickr/ChealionApple, thanks to its recently updated iPhone 3G, is now the third-best-selling mobile phone supplier in the world, next to Samsung and Nokia, in terms of revenue. The big news came on Tuesday, when Steve Jobs announced during Apple’s quarterly earnings call with investors, that Apple, for the first time, had outsold Research in Motion’s BlackBerry (RIM).

Apple sold a whopping 6.9 million devices, compared to RIM, who sold 6.1 million BlackBerry devices in the same three month period.

This is first for Apple, who has been battling RIM in sales since the iPhone launched 15 months ago. “This is a milestone for us,” said Steve Jobs, who made a surprise appearance on the company’s quarterly conference call. “RIM is a good company that makes good products and so it is surprising that after only 15 months in the market, we could outsell them in any quarter.”

Steve had been cautiously optimistic with iPhone sales this year due to a fledgling economy. However, Apple has sold more than 13 million iPhones in total, comfortably exceeding the company’s expectations of selling 10 million in 2008.

Part of the iPhone’s success is driven by the coming of Apple App Store, which launched on the same day the revamped iPhone3G hit the shelves. The App Store gives consumers and even some schools enough reason to purchase one. Also, Apple’s increasing international distribution of the iPhone (Apple is expecting to sell in 70 countries by the end of this quarter) will mean more people will be able to get their hands on the device. Currently, the iPhone is available in 51 countries.