RIM Loses No. 1 Canadian Smartphone Shipments Spot to Apple for 2011
March 23, 2012 12:43 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
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.
, 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.
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