imagehasdflsflsf iPhone Shedding Market Share In Increasingly Competitive MarketThe mobile crown of Apple is losing market share, dropping from the 18.1% mark in the third quarter of 2009, to 16.6% in the final quarter of last year.

This came amid rising sales for the iPhone. The market expanded more quickly than the iPhone’s sales did, meaning that while gross sales of iPhones were higher, its total market-share declined.

The percentage drop represents an 8.3% percent drop in total market share. Total iPhone sales expanded 18% in the same time frame.

The iPhone is still in the eyes of the consumer the phone to have, even with Android’s ever expanding attempts to seize that crown. The iPhone brand, even after fielding similar looking phones two years in a row, has yet to show weakness. Expanding sales a premium phone in a recession is hardly brand fragility.

However, the iPhone is facing constant new threats. With the Palm Pre Plus, Nexus One, Droid, and others nipping at its heals, Apple might be wont to shake up their methods just a touch, perhaps to reach growth levels in line with the rest of its product category.

The iPhone is hardly in danger as things stand; even if the phone is no longer to technology leader (as many Android enthusiasts would claim), the phone has more mind-share than any other device.

Story via WSJ.