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Apple's iPhone the No. 4 U.S. handset during third quarter

Apple Inc.'s iPhone ranked No. 4 amongst all U.S. handset for the third calendar quarter of 2007 in terms of sales and is on track to potentially take over the No. 1 spot sometime in the next two quarters, according to a new report.

Data released Friday by global research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics projects that nearly 1.1 million units of the sleek touch-screen handset were delivered to U.S. consumers through the combined AT&T and Apple outlets during the third quarter, totaling 1.325 million units since its launch late in the second quarter.

Barry Gilbert, VP of the Strategy Analytics BuyerTRAX programs, said in the report that iPhone has emerged as AT&€™s top selling device, commanding some 13 percent of the wireless provider's overall handset sales, and the 4th top selling handset in the U.S. market.

"Although the iPhone hasn’t had an expansionary impact in the market, the iPhone has quickly assumed a leading market share position and raised the ante for smart devices," he wrote. "The sales trajectory we are observing with the iPhone could make it the top selling device in the U.S. over the next 1-2 quarters."

Currently, the top selling handset in the U.S. continues to be Motorola’s RAZR V3, however it appears to be losing momentum as new and more competitive models that erode both its share and popularity are being introduced. Strategy Analytics noted that the top 10 handset models account for approximately 25 percent of total handset sales in a typical quarter despite an increasing number of device offerings.

"The typical iPhone buyer is upwardly mobile, college educated with a six-figure household income," said David Kerr, Vice President of the Strategy Analytics Global Wireless Practice. "While the largest percentage of iPhone buyers is between 20-30 years old, the fact that nearly 25 percent were between 50-60 years old demonstrates that the device attracts buyers across a broad age spectrum."

Thus far, iPhone users are quite satisfied with the phone's design and features, Kerr added. However, they are slightly less enamored of actual iPhone reliability, battery life, documentation and customer support.