In the years since Apple first unveiled the iPhone in 2007, things have been getting steadily worse for Research In Motion, the makers of the once-ubiquitous BlackBerry line of smartphones. As the iPhone and Android-based smartphones have become more popular, BlackBerry has long considerable ground in the market in which it once held near-absolute hegemony.
There has always been one market, however, where BlackBerry still reigned supreme: Canada. RIM is based in Ontario, and throughout the company’s struggles they have always managed to sell more BlackBerrys in Canada than Apple has sold iPhones. Until now. A recent report from Bloomberg shows that Canadians bought nearly 800,000 more iPhones than BlackBerrys. in 2011. Though 800,000 may not seem like a lot in terms of smartphone sales, it’s actually extremely significant: Apple sold 2.85 million iPhones in Canada in 2011, while RIM sold 2.08 BlackBerrys. That means that Apple nearly sold half again as many phones as RIM in RIM’s own backyard.
Though losing to iPhone on RIM’s home turf no doubt stings, it is just the most recent of several blows the company has received in recent months. As data has surfaced showing Android and iPhone trouncing BlackBerry (and everyone else, really) in market share, other reports have shown that those platforms are also coming to be favored by IT professionals. Considering that BlackBerry once owned the enterprise market, that has to hurt, especially when businesses and organizations start making move that prove BlackBerry’s decline. In 2012 alone Halliburton, the NOAA, and the ATF have all begun abandoning the BlackBerry platform in favor of iOS.
Though the leadership of new CEO Thorsten Heins and the launch of the much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 may yet serve to turn the company around, it is getting increasingly difficult to remain optimistic.
What do you think? Can BlackBerry turn things around and become competitive with iOS and Android again? Let us know in the comments.