updated 09:10 am EDT, Mon August 11, 2008
BBerry at 11pc US Share
Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones now account for more than one in every ten phones sold in the US as a whole, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics. The Canadian company is now said to have accounted for 11 percent of all phones sold in the US during the spring despite its emphasis on smartphones. Such sales are almost triple the four percent from spring 2007 and have RIM eclipsing Nokia, which is the largest worldwide phone producer but has just nine percent of the US market.
The success is credited by the researchers to RIM properly anticipating a broader shift from limited feature phones to smartphones, taking share from companies that still hinge most of their sales on the simpler devices. Multiple differently-priced devices have helped, according to the analysts, which cite the BlackBerry Curve 8330 at Sprint and Verizon as a key factor in RIM's growth.
Motorola still holds on to the lead in the US market at 26 percent but is now thought to claim its edge through deep connections to carriers and a large number of sales points rather than the quality of its phones; while large, the company only launched a "meager" 10 phones in the spring, Strategy Analytics says. Motorola's true smartphones are largely limited to its Windows Mobile-based Q and Q 9 handsets.
Apple's market share isn't mentioned in the study but is known to have dropped in the spring as shortages cut its shipments to just 700,000 devices worldwide. However, the report phrases the US competition as a conflict between Apple and RIM and says neither will compete directly with each other until the smartphone market is saturated. Either will instead take share from companies that fail to adapt their product lines.
"Both players will win for the next 18 months and beyond as the transition from feature phones to smartphones takes place," analyst Bonny Joy says.