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Apple passes Motorola, now the largest US phone maker

In some incredible news, Apple has passed Motorola to become the largest phone maker in the US. According to Forbes, Apple sold 8.8 million iPhones in the first quarter, while Motorola sold 8.5 million of their various mobile devices. This is despite Motorola having posted an unexpected profit in the quarter and outdoing both its own and Wall Street's forecasts.

Motorola has been in a skid for a while. Four years ago they posted 46.1 million phones sold in the 1st quarter (back when the RAZR was hot). Their current strategy is to focus on smart phones that they can charge more for, like the Droid. It's working, Forbes notes, but more slowly than executives would like.

Motorola earned US$69 million, or 3 cents per share in the quarter. In the same quarter last year, it lost $231 million, or 13 cents per share.

Motorola has been in the market for a long time, which makes Apple -- a relative newbie -- even more impressive as the 1st quarter winner. If only we had a hit of what they'll be doing next.

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