Print 26 comment(s) - last by srf_in_va.. on Mar 27 at 4:34 PM

This is a particularly hard blow to RIM, which is based in Canada and had the No. 1 spot until last year

Apple seems to be encroaching on Research-In-Motion's (RIM) territory by surpassing the telecommunications company's smartphone shipments in Canada.

RIM, which is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, traditionally had many Canadian smartphone customers due to RIM being a Canadian company. In 2008, RIM outsold Apple's iPhone by 5-to-1 in Canada, and in 2010, BlackBerry outsold the iPhone by 500,000.

But this customer loyalty was challenged recently when Apple surpassed RIM for the No. 1 spot in smartphone shipments. Last year, RIM shipped 2.08 million BlackBerrys in Canada while Apple shipped 2.85 million iOS-powered devices.

According to Bloomberg, RIM failed to promote its devices once the iPhone came around. After years of being known for innovative smartphones, the company felt it didn't need to promote anymore. But the iPhone began to take over, offering more apps and a user-friendly experience. BlackBerry soon fell way behind, with Google's Android operating system coupled with Samsung, HTC and Motorola phones being Apple's only true competitor.

"For RIM, in its home market, to lose that No. 1 position to iPhone is strategically important," said Paul Taylor, a fund manager at BMO Harris Private Banking in Toronto. "It does identify, even with a home-country bias, how consumers are responding to the greater functionality of the iPhone."

RIM's sales in Canada fell 23 percent from Q3 2010 to Q3 2011 while U.S. sales dropped 45 percent. RIM's worldwide revenue fell 5.9 percent.

According to Bloomberg analysts, RIM will likely report a fourth-quarter 2011 profit drop of more than half to 82 cents a share. They also expect an 18 percent drop in sales to $4.53 billion.

Apple, on the other hand, more than doubled its profit to $13.1 billion and had a 73 percent rise in revenue to $46.3 billion.

Some of RIM's troubles can likely be attributed to its worldwide blackout last fall, where customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia, the United States and Canada lost their BlackBerry services for four days. This outraged many customers who depend on their BlackBerry devices for business as well as personal use. RIM blamed the outage on a system upgrade.

The outage coupled with BlackBerry's lack of apps and user-friendly features has put it behind in the mobile race, but it's not the end for RIM entirely. The mobile company still has some loyal customers in Canada, including the Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Bank of Montreal, and Toronto-Dominion Bank, where all continue to issue BlackBerry's to their employees.

Source: Bloomberg

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By Nortel on 3/23/2012 1:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Besides the hardware keyboard, what is the reason a non-business person would buy a blackberry over an iPhone? Heck even a blackberry vs Android phone... RIM brings nothing to the table.

RE: rim
By Pirks on 3/23/2012 4:10:05 PM , Rating: 1
what is the reason a non-business person would buy a blackberry over an iPhone?
BBM, slightly larger 3.7" screen and trackpad.

RE: rim
By messele on 3/23/2012 5:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
No come on, joking aside, what are the reasons?

RE: rim
By Pirks on 3/23/2012 6:10:35 PM , Rating: 2
Are you trolling me? ;)

RE: rim
By jimbojimbo on 3/23/2012 5:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
Tasks, Notes, better calendar synchronization, out of office settings, custom applications that are easily pushed to the devices. On the server side they can audit all your BBM and SMS messages if they need to as well as grab all your call logs. I'm no fan of BBs either but they do have a lot more features and their security settings are top notch. You can actually do quite a lot as far as work only stuff is concerned. Other than that it sucks so people would wind up carrying two phones anyway so at our company we're giving people options for ActiveSync devices.

RE: rim
By srf_in_va on 3/27/2012 4:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
The only reason my wife and I bought Bold 9650s from Big Red last January was this: Blackberry Desktop Manager makes it dead simple and utterly reliable to sync contacts, calendar, notes, and tasks to Outlook on a desktop or notebook computer. For individuals or small businesses without Exchange this is a plus. The fact that this can't be done (out of the box) with other phones (even a WP7 phone!) makes us nervous about RIM's continuing inability to bring competitive products to market.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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