BlackBerry loses out to iPhone in Canada

Apple Inc.’s iPhone has pushed aside Research in Motion’s BlackBerry from its top post in smartphone shipment in Canada.

RIM shipped 2.08 million BlackBerry’s in Canada last year compared with 2.85 million iPhones shipped by Apple, according to data gathered by analyst firm IDC and Bloomberg LP.

BlackBerry’s loss of its domestic lead shows the iPhone’s user-friendly features and wealth of apps trump other considerations, Paul Taylor, a fund manager at BMO Harris Private Banking in Toronto, said in an interview with Bloomberg. Taylor manages about $15 billion in assets, including RIM and Apple shares.

“For RIM, in its home market, to lose that No. 1 position to iPhone is strategically important,” said Taylor. “It does identify, even with a home-country bias, how consumers are responding to the greater functionality of the iPhone.”

While apple saw record sales of its iPhone RIM has had to contend with disappointing numbers. Gartner Inc., a Stamford, Ct.-based IT analyst firm reported last month that mobile device sales during the last three months of 2011 shows nearly a 50 per cent increase in smartphone sales compared to the same quarter in 2010 with 149 million units sold. Apple also jumped to third mobile device vendor by sales, following Nokia and Samsung.

Apple now claims 7.4 per cent of the global market share for mobile devices, compared to 3.5 per cent of market share in Q4 of 2010. It sold over 35 million units in the last quarter of 2011, compared to more than 111 million for Nokia and 92 million for Samsung. RIM dipped in sales, with 13.1 million units in the same period, compared to 14.7 million a year previous.

In his first public event since becoming CEO of RIM, Thorstein Heins said that RIM is still the top selling smartphone in countries outside North America, including the Netherlands, Spain, UK, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

He vowed to do something “dramatically different” to lift end the sales slump.

 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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