updated 12:00 pm EDT, Wed October 6, 2010
BlackBerry share down, Android up in August
BlackBerry phones took a deep hit from Android this summer, comScore said today. RIM's phones lost 4.1 percent of the total smartphone share this past August to keep 37.1 percent of the US market. Android at the same time shot up a high 6.6 percent to reach 19.6 percent of the US sphere.
Apple still held on to its second-place position, but it dropped slightly on its own in spite of a continued iPhone 4 rush, falling two tenths of a point to 24.2 percent of American smartphones. Microsoft's market share collapse wasn't as severe as in past months, but it was still overtaken by Google with a fall from 13.2 percent a year ago to 10.8 percent today. Palm (now HP) still held on to a top five spot with 4.6 percent.
RIM's low performance was still enough for it to ultimately gain share in cellphones as a whole and to reach exactly nine percent and fourth place, but most other manufacturers were seeing their influence shrink in August as they either faced smartphone rivals or were willing to give up share for more profitable smartphones. Samsung cemented its lead with 23.6 percent, but LG, Motorola and Nokia all declined.
Much of the Android surge could be attributed to a slew of flagship Android phones that simply weren't available before, particularly Verizon models such as the Droid 2, Droid Incredible and Droid X. The CDMA carrier was once RIM's favorite partner and was used to launch the BlackBerry Storm series, but Android has become Verizon's dominant partner to the extent where BlackBerry launches are downplayed but Android devices get special midnight introductions. Apple's struggle to gain further share in the US has been attributed mostly to the lack of models for Verizon or other carriers, where Android and BlackBerry alike are available on virtually every significant US provider.
The new findings show the start of a potentially serious problem for RIM, which set record sales this summer but is facing a plateau as some customers are opting for the more advanced Android platform. Its BlackBerry Torch supports multi-touch and other modern features but was only available on AT&T during August and had a tepid early adoption rate as corporate buyers shied away from early adoption.