BlackBerry popularity among Canadians slipping

A new report from market tracking firm ComScore Inc., indicates that Research In Motion Ltd. maintains the No. 1 spot in the smartphone rankings in Canada, according to the Financial Post.

But shifting market dynamics suggest that the company’s hold on the top position is “tenuous at best,” the ComScore report said.

The report appears to echo findings released by analyst firm Gartner Inc., which earlier said RIM’s global smartphone market share continues to slide.

Gartner said RIM maintained its fourth place spot in the global market, but declined from 14.6 per cent share in Q4 2010 to 8.8 per cent in 2011.

At the end of December, RIM’s BlackBerrys accounted for about 32.6 per cent of the Canadian smartphone market, while Apple Inc.’s iOS platform, which powers the computer giant’s iPhones, was the second most popular smartphone ecosystem, with about 31.2 per cent of the market, the ComScore report said.

Still, although Apple appears to be hot on RIM’s heels, Google Inc.’s Android software – which accounts for about 27.8 per cent of the Canadian market – is gaining fast and could soon take over the overall lead in Canada, just as it has in the United States and other markets.

“Over the past six months, RIM has lost 6 percentage points of market share with most of it going to Android,” the report states.

“It should be noted, however, that RIM’s January appointment of a new CEO likely signals some upcoming strategic changes that may result in more innovative product offerings. Should this change in leadership and enhancement in product offerings prove successful, RIM’s home market Canada represents perhaps the best opportunity to stem the tide and regain lost market share.”

Thorstein Heins has earlier announced that RIM will target the one billion cell phone users who haven’t upgraded to smartphones in markets like Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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