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.