Apple (AAPL) And RIM (RIMM): A Two-Horse Race In Smartphones

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New research out today shows that Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) Blackberry still holds the high ground in the smartphone business, but Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is marking significant inroads. Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) continues to be in trouble.

The data, from ChangeWave, covers almost 4,000 consumers interview from March 17 to March 24. According to the research the RIM BlackBerry (42%) maintains its huge lead among consumers while second place Palm (16%) continues a two-year decline in its share. This was the seventh-consecutive ChangeWave survey in which Palm’s market share has dropped.

Apple’s share is now up to 9%, extraordinary given the short time the iPhone has been in the market.

In terms of people "very satisfied" with their handsets, Apple lead with a rating of 79%. RIMM comes in at 54% and Palm at 22%. Of those planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days, 35% plan to buy the Apple product.

Research In Motion appears to be holding its own is what is a fast-growing market for smartphones. The iPhone continues to be a once-in-generation product. Palm is dead.

Douglas A. McIntyre