CUPERTINO, Calif. (TheStreet) -- Apple(AAPL) - Get Report usually gets a blissful refraction period after an iPhone announcement, but this year HTC, Google(GOOG) - Get Report, Nokia(NOK) - Get Report and others are ruining Apple's afterglow.
Not a day removed from Steve Jobs' iPhone 4 announcement,
James Rogers put Apple's newest hardware head-to-head against
-- you know, an actual 4G phone. Rogers was not alone in his comparison, as cnet also noted that the
sports a bigger screen (4.3-inch vs. 3.5, though lower resolution than the iPhone), has a more substantial camera (8 megapixels and 2x LED flash vs. 5 megapixels and minimum LED flash) and supports
Flash. Endgaget piled on with similar
This is a sea change from the
market of a year ago, when Apple crushed the
Pre, Nokia N97 and HTC's early Android products Dream and MyTouch with its announcement of the iPhone 3G S. With the
Droid still months away, Apple was free to take a victory lap while companies like
Research in Motion
played catch-up with touch-screen attempts like the Blackberry Storm 2.
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Much has changed since. Jobs yesterday reveled in Nielsen's revelation that, as of the first quarter of 2010, the iPhone's U.S. market share (28%) was a close second to RIM (35%) and more than three times that of Android products (9%). That's lovely, but Gartner notes that the iPhone increased its global market in the first quarter by nearly 5 percentage points (10.5% to 15.4%) since 2009, but still lags behind Nokia (44.3%) and RIM (19.3%). Though the two leaders lost 4.5% and 1.2% market share, respectively, since 2009, Android eclipsed Apple's growth with an 8% spike (from 1.6% share to 9.6%) in the same period.
This is why the Wall Street Journal made sure to include comparisons to the HTC Droid Incredible and the
in its iPhone story today. This is why Engadget followed up its iPhone-EVO brawl with a battle royale comparison between the iPhone,
, Palm Pre Plus, HTC HD2 and Nokia N8, which had the Nokia winning on points.
Apple's competitors haven't been dumb -- the jury's still out on
Windows phone -- in their response to the iPhone; they've just dragged behind. Now that some of the other companies are catching up, minor tweaks may not be enough to maintain Apple's place as the coolest kid in the smartphone market.
-- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.
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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet.com. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent.