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BlackBerry in freefall at Verizon as Android takes over

updated 10:10 am EST, Fri December 10, 2010

BlackBerry sales now just 20pc of Verizon sales

The BlackBerry's influence at Verizon has nearly collapsed since Android reached the carrier, ITG Investment Research analyst Matthew Goodman said on Friday. RIM represented over 90 percent of Verizon's smartphone sales as recently as October 2009 but crashed almost immediately after the Motorola Droid arrived at Verizon a month later. It has since fallen over the past year from 55 percent to less than 20 percent as of November 2010.

The 80 percent remaining is now almost exclusively attributed to Android, Goodman wrote. Motorola continues to have the largest share with nearly 40 percent; about 46 percent of those were the high-end Droid 2 and Droid X, with the rest split among lower-end models. HTC is now virtually tied with RIM, while LG and Samsung both have more than 10 percent each.

AllThingsD noted that the BlackBerry's greatly reduced presence at Verizon corroborated rumors of a shift in attention to iPhone plans. With BlackBerry 6 upgrades and devices unlikely to produce a major effect, Verizon is more likely to be courting Apple to accelerate sluggish growth. It now depends primarily on Android, but the platform hasn't been enough to overcome an AT&T that has nearly caught up in subscriber numbers due almost entirely to iPhone sales.

RIM isn't expected to significantly turn around its performance at Verizon in the near future, since apart from OS upgrades it may only get mildly new devices that wouldn't compete as well against Android and iPhone hardware.

Sagging Verizon sales may have played a significant role in RIM's falling world share. Many BlackBerry phones are now sold outside of North America, but the US is still RIM's single most important market and could noticeably shape its total results if a major provider like Verizon shifts its focus.

by MacNN Staff



  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This info...

    ...makes Mike Lazaridis' performance at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference seem even more like Baghdad Bob claiming the US Army was getting slaughtered while US tanks passed by unopposed, behind him.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    saw this coming 3 years ago

    I shoulda shorted RIM, would have except the prospect of someone buying them up scared me, that could have really F'd me in the A.

    When your company is afloat due to 1 product line, there is NO WAY you're going to last against a company like Apple that decides to compete with you. Even if iPhone had not been insanely successful, all Apple would have had to do was start a price war and that would have cut the legs out from under RIM instantly.

    I guess Balsillie should stay in Canada and worry about keeping his company afloat rather than trying to buy an NHL team and move it there.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    stick a fork in Blackberry

    your time has passed, welcome to the slag heap of former market leaders who didn't keep up. You'll have good company with Motorola and Nokia, you three can sit around and reminisce about the good times five years ago and bitterly denounce Apple and Jobs.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I was saying this even in the first year that the iPhone was on sale in Canada. We still sold a lot of BlackBerries but most of those were at the 0 dollar mark. The funny thing is I'm sure if Apple had thrown out a physical keyboard they'd have taken even more of the BlackBerry's share (Though they'd have been compromising their design and that'd never happen... just saying.) When I was still selling phones most of the people buying BlackBerries were doing it based on the recommendations of their non-savvy friends. A lot of them seemed to be doing it because they thought it was still a status symbol, of course I wanted to make the sale so I didn't tell them that in a few months people would be thinking they were lame for having a BlackBerry.

    RIM's market share is going to colapse unless they can pull out a good QNX device with GOOD specs that are competitive with what RIM and Apple have at the same time. Otherwise all the high end is going to stick with Apple and the higher end Android phones, and the low end will be eaten by low end Android devices.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just as I predicted

    When the iPhone came out I predicted that Blackberry is doomed. They just don't have the chops to duke it out with the best consumer electronics company in the world. Yes, it's Android not the iPhone that's killing them on Verizon but we all know Android wouldn't be what it is if it didn't have the iPhone to shamelessly imitate. In fact before the iPhone came out, Android was shamelessly imitating Blackberry.

    Anyway, RIM had a good run. Like Palm, they fell too much in love with their existing technology and held on to it a little too long.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Next up, Kindle reader.

    Good thing for Amazon Kindle hardware isn't it's bread and butter product.

  1. asciidan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not so fast

    I'm not sure this graph tells the whole story. This may in fact be the percentage of BlackBerry devices sold on Verizon, but it isn't volume. Smartphones have increased by volume, and Verizon had almost no smartphones besides the BlackBerry until the Droid. A year later, the company has added smartphones by the handful -- but not new BlackBerry OS6 devices. If smartphone sales at Verizon have doubled in the last year, BlackBerry sales aren't going as poorly as this graph would lead one to believe. And if Verizon gets a phone similar to the Torch, you'll see a rebound in the numbers.

    The problem with BlackBerry on Verizon is the Storm was never a compelling product and corporate users have primarily had Curves and Bolds. The Curve is woefully outdated and few businesses are willing to pick up new ones while OS6 devices are right around the corner.

    I wouldn't stick a fork in RIM just yet. If the OS advances in the Torch are any indication, there's a lot more to come.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Redraw that graph in 6 months

    It will be fun to see how much Android and BlackBerry sales iPhone takes when it hits Verizon. If I had to guess I'd say it'll take 40% from each after the first year, and more in subsequent years. (Especially after the Oracle lawsuit kills off Android, but that's another story...)

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You need a proper app store.

    - a

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