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Is RIM’s Losing Streak Over in the US Market?

Research In Motion
By Chris Umiastowski on 12 Mar 2012 02:28 pm EDT
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Despite the global subscriber growth that RIM has continued to deliver, the stock market still hates the stock. And the biggest reason for this has been weak results in the all-important US market. BlackBerry products have simply taken too long to play catch-up. RIM has been losing American subscribers for a long string of quarters.

But this losing streak may now be over. Comscore, a firm that publishes data on mobile phone use statistics, recently released results for January 2012.

The data lines up nicely with a view that we published here on CrackBerry. The main difference is that Comscore's data is US-centric whereas our article focused on global market share.

Comscore tells us that, as an OEM, RIM has 6.6% of mobile subscribers in the US market for the quarter ending January 2012. This is flat with the prior quarter, meaning that RIM is not losing market share as a vendor.

To be clear, these numbers reflect all sales of cellular phones to people aged 13 and over in the US market. They count smartphones and dumb phones. They count everything. Since dumb phones are dying, I think we should be paying attention to this metric - not just overall smartphone growth.

That said, when you look at the platform numbers, RIM is still losing share. Obviously this makes sense. There are plenty of manufacturers making Android handsets, and pretty much all of them are losing sales of former, proprietary OS handsets and replacing those sales with Android.

RIM has 15.7% share of the US smartphone market as of the January-ended quarter, down from 17.7% in the prior quarter.

I think the platform percentage numbers for RIM will continue to fall. That's what happens when other platforms are capturing dumb phone conversions at a faster pace than RIM. But when you measure actual phone sales, RIM is holding its ground now, even in the hyper-competitive US market.

This suggests RIM has more than a fighting chance. As we said before, if RIM can position itself such that it controls more than 5% of the global cell phone market (not just smartphones), it can stand proud as the #4 mobile phone OEM on the planet.

Once BlackBerry 10 hits the market later this year, we'll see if RIM can actually mount a significant recovery beyond just hanging onto its existing market share.
Oh, and I thought I'd point out that Comscore is obviously able to tell the difference between a BlackBerry user and a MacOS Safari user, unlike Google Analytics (see this post from Kevin about how screwed up Google Analytics is). We know this error is Google's, but RIM hasn't done enough to push for a fix. Unacceptable. Find a better tactic, RIM.

We're cheering you on all the way.

Reader comments

Is RIM’s Losing Streak Over in the US Market?

109 Comments

I'm quite confused...doesn't platform's growth equates to handset sales for RIM since BB only uses BB os and vice versa...and why does it make sense for RIM to lose platform users when other platforms are dying off as their handsets started using android...

Read the article again and read it carefully and you'll understand. The article very clearly answers your question. And stop hating on RIM with every one of your replies.

Which part of my comment did you see something about hating RIM? Would you please bloody stop filling all the comment sections with your "troll, troll, troll", "hate, hate, hate" comments and actually contribute to the discussion? Are people not allow to post comments about the actual article/products/functions?

Why do you think driving away all the comments would help this site and RIM? Do you seriously think that RIM is perfect and that any criticisms should be banned? Go take a look at androidcentral, imore and wpcentral, do you see criticisms? Do those people label all the comments trolls and try to drive away everyone? Is this site not for feedback and reviews? The very idea that you think someone would troll Crackberry is absurd, do you seriously think that someone would troll the least popular platform? Why must you drive away everyone and tries to censor everything on this site? Even the editors on this site often post articles about wrong moves that RIM made, are you label them trolls and drive them out too? You are just bloody annoying and fill the entire site with your spams of labeling everyone a troll whenever you have time.

Now back onto the article, no, there's nothing there about why platform sales and handset sales could move in different directions for RIM that I could find. There's certainly no non-BB os BB handset and no BB os on non-BB handset, that why I asked the question, and you just have to spam and discourage everyone from commenting whenever possible.

Illogical comment and troll and yet you bothered to also reply. I'm a troll because I'm a BlackBerry fan on a BlackBerry website? Are you out of your mind???
I'd go back and quote all the BS Jack says about RIM but I don't have that much time on my hands. Anyone who frequents this site as much as I do and is a true CrackBerry addict will know the garbage he writes. Anyway, if he read the article, he would not need to write that nonsense comment. READ before you comment! Getting tired of people NOT reading the articles before they comment.

Well written and good reply.This is an even platform criticism and compliments should be both taken with grace.
Agree every word of yours.

Liked and Thanked.

"You are just bloody annoying and fill the entire site with your spams of labeling everyone a troll whenever you have time."

Incidentally, that applies to quite a few time-blessed individuals on this site.

One simple word to increase sales here in the US: ADVERTISE! I see commercial after commercial for Droid and the iphone but hardly ever see a commercial for BlackBerry. If I do, it's that stupid "Be Bold" commercial that tells the viewer nothing about the phone. If you don't advertise, no one will know the product, RIM.

i bet half the people in the US don't even know RIM makes phones with touchscreens.

advertising affords a company the opportunity to change a customer's perception about their product or company.

RIM should hurry up and let people know they make smartphones with touchscreens. Stop selling phones without them in the US.

They sell their touchscreen phones more in the U.S. than anywhere else, including Canada. That said, you still find many people shocked in both places. I speak from experience on how many people were shocked that my old Storm 2 was a Blackberry both in the U.S. and Toronto.

That said, they should promote the Torch a lot more than they do.

Definitely not enough data to make any such determination.

Former BB Fanboy who came up the ranks from a Curve to a Bold to a Torch before jumping ship to Android. Waiting longingly for the BB that brings me back. It's an OS thing, not form factor.

After reading the article over and over again, the premise becomes questionable...because any drop will eventually slow down and stop...a significant of the 7% may actually be hardcore BB fans and corporate users who would bother to switch. I mean webOS Nation is still alive and someone will still buy BB even if it were still in those old pager form. A stop in the drop of handset sales after it has dropped to only 7% doesn't really indicate much, it would be very odd if the drop rate stays constant until it reaches zero, that would mean everyone hates RIM. Until we see a U-turn, it is really not an indication of anything, and RIM is up against some pretty tough challenges: the Samsung Galaxy Note with its phablet advantage and stylus integration, possible iPhone 5 with Apple's software advantages and user base, and Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX which is really the first useful smartphone with feasible battery life. The Note and RAZR MAXX are only stuffs from this quarter, if RIM delays any further, I can't imagine what RIM has to come up with to stay competitive. All I can say is if RIM gives us an iPhone called BB10, then they are certainly doomed and they clearly has no direction and knows nothing about what consumers want.

Really Jerk..... what's in it for you except the $5 bucks you get paid for each of your fun-sucking posts??

Sent from my BlackBerry Playbook

Good to hear! Keep pushing forward RIM!
Positive news always helps keep people focused. They still have a tall hill to climb, but hopefully things will work out for them.

Man, it would be great if the silly consumer were smart enough to know that all the negative press was some BS American nonsense. Seriously. An extremely patriotic nation, with TWO successful providers (Apple and Google)... Easy peasey.

I've been saying this since the numbers came out. In addition to this observation, the overall market in the US is still growing which implies that RIMM is growing it's obsolute sales month over month and this makes me conclude that not only will RIMM not pre-announce lower numbers prior to March 29th, they will beat lower projections. The street is expecting RIMM to come in with dismal numbers but this doesn't bare out with the US results, so let's assume that for the first time RIMM has held onto market share in the US, all other cylinders are firing strong, so we should see record sub growth this quarter as there is no take-away from the US.

When you throw in the PB which is doing extremely well along with accessories, you have the formula for a large beat! Just my opinion of course! either way, I love my PB and that BB 9900 is pretty darn cool too, glad to dump the iPhone so all is good.

RIM is going to keep loosing until BB10 is out in full force with advertising to back it. Nobody should kid themselves - Blackberry is hurting in the US.

Comscore reports an average over three months. The numbers are from a poll, which asks respondents about their "primary phone."

In terms of number of users reporting BlackBerry phones as their primary phones, here are the last few Comscore results:
Jul-11 17.8 million
Aug-11 16.6 million
Sep-11 16.52 million
Oct-11 15.48 million
Nov-11 15.17 million
Dec-11 15.66 million
Jan-12 17.42 million
(where Jan-12 means the average over Nov, Dec & Jan)

So it is looking up. However, these numbers probably miss some corporate-liable phones (people issued BB phones who also carry a second phone).

Where did you get the 17+million for Jan12? Using the 6.6% of 234 million overall US mobile market from the report I get 15.444 million. Using the 15.2% of the 101.3 US smartphone market I get 15.3976 million. There seems to be some rounding of numbers by Comscore. Maybe because they seem to be showing zero growth in the US mobile market over the past year (looking at old reports still shows 234 million). While I'd agree the market is mostly shifting from mobile dumb phones to smartphones, I think there is some small growth in the overall US cellphone market happening.

You are absolutely right, thanks for the correction. I multiply the smartphone count by the RIM smartphone share, but I mistakenly used the three-months-ago market share. Corrected:
Apr-11 19.2 million
May-11 19.0 million
Jun-11 18.4 million
Jul-11 17.8 million
Aug-11 16.6 million
Sep-11 16.52 million
Oct-11 15.48 million
Nov-11 15.17 million
Dec-11 15.66 million
Jan-12 15.40 million
So RIM has been just bumping along since the OS 7 phones came out, holding their own in terms of numbers.

Each ComScore report cites number of mobile phones and number of smartphones, in addition to percentages. Every report since the Feb. 2011 report (the oldest for which I saved the numbers) states that "234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices." I wonder how ComScore "measures" that number.

How about the developing countries? According to some so called experts, the middle class is booming in China and India. I heard that RIM has a strong hold in India. Which will benefit in the long run because at UN the power is already shifting from West to East. With the growth of the developing world, I think RIM can pull itself out of the hole.

Yes, RIM is really strong in India and also Indian living in other Asian countries or people with relatives in India. Almost everyone in this group uses BB.

Through China is heading toward the iPhone...and actually, just been to Indonesia earlier this month, iPhone is picking up in there as well.

Business phone market in Asia is still RIM dominated though, except it is quite small, because only executives in large firms would actually require it. Japan suddenly gone iPhone overnight...Korea is android-dominated due to Korean nationalism (they mostly use Korean handsets). Hongkong is interesting, android and iPhone split almost half and half and RIM launched an insanely aggressive advertising campaign last Christmas on Playbook and BB, and prices just dropped early this month, so presumably sales didn't do too well.

It's also interesting RIM is marketing itself as a hip trendy phone in Korea and a professional phone in Hongkong and didn't too well in both places.

India's a big country with large population, so who knows...and RIM still has the UK...but if they lose either one, I really don't think a lot of people would find BBM a useful IM anymore. Contacting relatives/friends with BBM is probably a very big reason for why RIM is doing well in some places and not in others...RIM better figure out something quick to ensure BBM stays a useful IM with a large user base or else RIM's pretty much a goner...

3 posts x. $5/post =. $15 Keep it it up Jerk!! You'll have the rent paid in no time!

Sent from my BlackBerry Playbook

Interesting information, though the iPhone in Japan doesn't totally square with the comment of Panasonic that phones in Japan need to be waterproof because women use them in the shower (interesting country).

The major USP of RIM, like Samsung, is that it isn't a Chino-American company. Although RIM can hardly promote this given the importance of the US market, I imagine there are a fair number of people in the world who see that as a plus point. Apple is now a Chinese company with headquarters on the US Pacific rim, and I imagine that Indian nationalism takes that into account. Both Nokia and Samsung are beholden to US-based operating systems.

The strengths of RIM - OS independence, security, patent portfolio, infrastructure - are invisible to the average user. They could only really be explained to the IT department - who don't make the decisions nowadays. I have probably posted this before, but what I imagine Thorsten and Co. really pray for is a major security foul up by Apple, Google or preferably both simultaneously. Allowing Android onto the Playbook is a calculated risk. I hope they don't allow it on the next generation of phones, or I will be keeping my 9810 for a long time to come.

It won't get better until they can show, promote, and launch BB10. Until then, there will be a negative perception on BlackBerry because the general public doesn't have any clue that BlackBerry is even trying to change.

Nice to see some positive numbers. However, when I look at my Bold 9930 and I feel it in my hand it is just the best device for me. Especially now that I can use it as a remote.

It lacks video chat, it lacks some apps competitors have, but I don't want to video chat on my phone and I don't use those apps. Instead I have something that is not slippery in my hand, that is not what amounts to a tablet sized phone that does not even fit in my pocket.

I hope people really ask themselves: What do I want my phone for? Because if the use their head and not some impulse created by clever marketing it should be a popular choice.

I came from a dumb phone to a pearl 9105, I became a BB adict. I get to know BlackBerry beeing an IT adminstrator.

My company changed to Iphones and Ipads, still some BB phones around with BES Server.

Since my many problems with updates(AppWorl 3.1.1.21 for Pearl ) , upgrades (os6 for pearl, os5 for curve 8520), and the many errors I had when giving support to users at my office I can resume that:

THE PROBLEM IS IN THE MANAGMENT OF ERRORS, UPDATES, UPGRADES.

how many times do you have to make a reset in the Iphone??

Besides lets talk about BBMaps:
In south america there are 7 countries with no support, and 4 countries with support.
So the solution is to use google maps!, come on.

Lets talk about Carrier distribution:
At least in my country carriers barely know about BB the it guy how come to my company to install BES did know nothing! I found more info at the support library.

I love BB, and I tought people was not beeing patient, but I also lost it with this last APPWorld update, this error with Pearl phones was reported more than a week ago but BlackBerry doesn't say anything about it at the Technical Solution Center.

I am also trying to make a bussiness plan for reselling smartphones but there is no info around, I have a "solved" ticket at SPN.blackberry.com and the say the only give support to US partners.

I traded in my 9900 for a GSII Skyrocket due to the numerous battery pulls I had to perform. At least 2 or 3 a week. This is 2012. That's just ridiculous.
But I admit I miss by Bold considerably. That keyboard was simply sublime. And such a handsome, expensive feeling device, too. Felt perfect in your hand.

but why would you even need to make an App for that? Fix the problem. You and I are used to it because we have (presumably) had many Blackberries over the years. RIM must expand their market beyond existing users, and when they do, those users are going to be appalled at how rough around the edges BB OS 7 is. Hopefully, all this will be fixed in BB 10. But, as I said in another post....ONLY if the apps are there.

I totally understand what you mean. I've used Android for about a half year and never had an iOS device but in response to what you said about battery pulls, in moderation something as easy as that is a good thing. Same with after downloading most apps, a reboot is often required. I know it seems weird that it's necessary, but doing so keeps the device running great... And OS7 devices boot pretty quick.

However, I'm willing to bet that the lack of recommended reboots on the competing devices leaves them running a bit under par. Not sure about iOS but Android can really run like a bag of d**ks (thanks Louis CK) - at least from my experience. Albeit they make it incredibly easy to kill any running apps.

My post was a waste. And I concur to an extent, I'm just extremely understanding of battery pulls!

You're definitely right with Android but with iOS in my experience, I have only reset the thing twice since I got it over 6 months ago and that was just to apply OS updates.

The battery pulls needed on BBOS is just disappointing, even with the app. Battery pull after installing apps, battery pull if something funny happens, battery pull for red light going off but no notifications displayed, the list goes on.

BB10 better be a whole different beast.

Okay, my good friend has a 9900 and NEVER has to do a battery pull. What's going on? I can see that some games make my 9860 croak from time to time, but I use Quickpull or RestartMe.

That stinks - what apps did you use? I've been using a 9900 and haven't run into any issues requiring regular pulls.

The battery life blows (compared to previous Bold models), but that's another issue.

Indeed... Well, it's a disgrace for example that Venezuela (who is maybe the country with more BB's per capita in the world, 2 Million BB's in 28 Million population) doesn't have BB Maps.

A lot of my friends are jumping ship over to iPhone. Android is a non issue here. Too bad RIM is late trying to recover from this situation.

true...if it's os 7, the 7th version of an os that you have developed for years, it should be quite mature...not battery pulls after battery pulls...

I think I've only had to pull my os7 device battery once in 5 months. I guess its all a matter of actual use vs. misinformation.

I run Quickpull on my 9860 once a week by choice. Just a habbit to clean up stuff running in the background. Some apps and games are just brutal and don't free up memory well.

What are you doing to need that? I haven't seen the battery on mine since it arrived in October, and nobody else in the company has reported to me that they have had to do one. The only nasty moment was during an OS upgrade: an error appeared in mid install causing me to have minor kittens, I removed and replaced the USB plug, and the install just completed successfully.

Obviously nobody ever has to remove and replace the battery on iPhones, but phones with non-user-replaceable batteries are just out as far as I'm concerned. The Playbook is a different matter because I'm not dependent on it. But the battery itself is the least reliable component of a mobile phone.

While a valid point, ios and android both use Google maps as their main map applications. That being said, I don't use bb maps here in Canada, I've got google maps installed and its the only map application I use... So not having a "preloaded" map application is really not an issue in my view...

The make or break battle for RIM will be if developers embrace BB 10. BB OS 7 and Playbook are effectively a dud. I say that because only existing Blackberry users have purchased them. The only reason Playbooks are moving is that RIM is practically giving them away, at a loss. They can't continue to do that.
I agree that both the Playbook OS and BB 10 have an extremely promising future (lots of cool stuff going on in there), but only IF devs will write apps for it. No apps, and RIM is sunk insofar as being a major player. Keep in mind the stock is now hovering at a point where the company is worth more in pieces. I foresee, without apps, RIM becoming a small niche player in the corporate and 3rd world markets.
I'll be one of the first in line for the new devices, but without apps, that line won't be very long.

Good post, I completely agree with your point of view. Developer support will be critical to get the platform rolling. The PlayBook is a very nice piece of hardware with a powerful OS in QNX under the hood. However, all that matters little to consumers since there are so few apps for it.
RIM is starting from scratch when it comes to building an app ecosystem since BB7 does not use the QNX kernel like BB10. Therefore, RIM cannot leverage their existing app ecosystem. RIM definitely has their work cut out for them.
The market has become incredibly crowded as of late with tons of new players entering the market. It's going to be tough for any smartphone vendor but even more so for RIM.

Still, it's good to see they're holding their own in the American market. Consumers are very fickle. If BB10 is up to par with iOS and Android, many will switch over since it is a unique OS giving consumers a very differentiated product. The key question is if RIM is able to get the app ecosystem churning, may it be native or Android.

Ah the stock market! Ignoring the world and actual profits for "perceived" value and "imaginary" worth.

Aahhh...The stock market is so messed up.

RIM could be making 400 billion dollars, but the fact they are losing US market share makes them undesirable as an investment, thus their stock value goes down even if their profits and actual user numbers are up.

That's what I don't get it. The stupid stock market is based on American market. The RIM users in India has increased and yet the RIM stocks are going down.

If RIM made a portion of 400B, they might actually invent a device that can hold 40 apps without it blowing smoke from it's processor..LMAO

Blackberry isn't going anywhere. I'm not going to proclaim them to be number one again but I will say is that they hold the most secure device of all and there will always be a demand on security vs. Tiny tv's. This is a prime time though for RIM to show face. When bb10 comes out I think marketing will be more important than anything. I mean when dumb phones go out the window it will be time to upgrade and they need to know that there is a phone that eventhough they are being forced to move forward that there is one where they can trust their info due to security.

Thanks for this positive spin, but the reality speaks a different story. Major corporations are slowly replacing BB's with iphones and other devices. There are few if any new adopters of BB. Most purchases are users that already have a BB and have decided to upgrade. That's the reality.Sad but true.

Its really only a logical conclusion. There is much more choice in the market space for smart phones. Far from sad, more that its a healthy market with choices. Its a good kick in the pants and helps us as a consumer in the long run. Better devices, cheaper cost, more features, etc...RIM just needs to show up to the fight now (and I believe they are)

Very good response, and I think that RIM IS ready for the challenge. They have been making great strides. Despite the heat they've been getting, they did impress at CES with PlayBook 2.0 and the PlayBook-based in-car entertainment system.

I'm sure RIM has a target market, similar to what most other products have. I'd be interested in knowing what RIM's share is within that market.

Whenever there is talk about any smartphone manufacturer's market share, it seems to be related to the full smartphone market. As stated above, "these numbers reflect all sales of cellular phones to people aged 13 and over in the US market." How many 13 year-olds do you see with BlackBerries? Certainly, they have Android devices and iPhones, but BlackBerries? Should RIM even care about this segment?

Admittedly, there are more people using iOS and Android than there are using any BB OS. But how many of them fall within RIM's target? If RIM isn't actively seeking those numbers (the teens, tweens and whoever else gets phones bought by their parents), what value does overall market share really have? The target market share is the key.

Funny you ask that. In town on Saturday I saw a kid of about 11 riding his bicycle one hand while writing a message on a Curve with the other. If he dropped the BB I imagine it might get a scratch. If he dropped an iPhone...aluminum and glass may be strong, but a fall onto cobbles is likely to be fatal. Outside the USA, most parents can't afford to keep replacing broken iPhones.

Actually, in my son's school, there are lots of kids with BlackBerrys because of BBM. Apple will try to take that market away with iMessage, but iMessage is still very much in its infancy. BBM has gone to another level with BBM connected apps.

People are getting Androids because they're cheap: low cost, disposable phones. The carriers love those Androids because they break so easily and often malfunction!

I will admit that vendors like Samsung focus on a incredible display -- large with sharp AMOLED. It does wow customers. However, the buttons and housing is so plasticy. Carriers want the sales because once the customer is in, they are bound by the contracts. They make money on accessories and repairs. They can sell insurance for the phones too.

My 9860 not only has a thick chrome (metal) band around it, it also has a strong metal back. It's built to last and take the occasional beating.

Calm down guys... people like change. I know many Blackberry users like myself that switched to iphone and are open to switching to another platform just for a change of pace. I'm tired of ios and in fact it feels boring now. A friend of mine who buys everything ios has an android phone now. I'm personally questioning ios' power long term. It seems you tweak it at all when jailbroken and the thing crashes or slows to a crawl. Once most content goes the html5 way I think things get much more competitive. If BB10 is impressive and runs fast and offers all of the great benefits of communication features that Blackberries have always have it'll do well. I still hear from friends stating that BB still is the king of email and communication. Unfortunately they wanted a change of pace and some cool apps at the time so they switched.

+a gazilliioon i heard you...many ppl just wana try new stuff and bb haven't drop new stuff in a wile...but bb10 is such a changer in fell and in the kind of apps that most bb user will be like O.O is that a blackberry...and they will try it...do we really just wanna live in a android ios phone world :S... not me i like choices...and not handset choices like android actual choices...

Last year I had 16 bbm contacts, as of now I only have 3 left. Everyone is switching over to iphone...people got sick of their bb being slow/crashing/freezing/breaking...etc. and these people were bb lovers (they couldn't live without bbm). It's interesting how the iphone craze influences so many people.

I will forever be a bb fan, I've gone through 4 different bbs and I'm currently using the Torch 9810 (I also have the PB). But I must admit, I almost switched to the dark side last year when my 9800 Torch was being a POS and I couldn't stand it any longer....but I waited it out until the new 9810 came out. I wasn't blown away, but it was faster at least.

I will admit, all my friends bash on how crappy bb phones are, but I will never support apple products. I think apple is just a money hungry company and so many people fall for it. As great of a phone the iphone may be, it's way overrated and it doesn't fit my lifestyle.

I really wish there will be some more positive media for bb soon! When I told my sister how much I bought my 64GB playbook for ($299) and how much cheaper (and better) it is than an ipad...she says, "that's because the playbook is crap and no one wants it!" that's how negative people think about bb...

I, like you am a huge BB fan, but like you my BBM contacts have gone from 32 to 3 over the past 2 years. That is probably one of the biggest indicators of the demise of the BB platform.

Research in Motion is run by CEO Thorsten Heinous. Short it to ZERO. Long live mighty APPLE. You are all welcome at imore.com

Things won't turn around until BB10 phones come along with a successful marketing push and some carrier backing. Until then they just have to weather the storm. I have an iphone 4 and may switch to a bb10 come August (if its out). Its easy to bash the guy who's already down. Iphone is great for everything but multitasking, UI, and messaging app :) Itunes/apps are what grip people in and make it hard to switch off of apple.

If most of the companies dropping RIM are tired of the BES system then why isn't there an online system offered by RIM? Something along the lines of the other Cloud providers?

I must say BB10 is the make or break for me. Will always keep my Torch as a remote for the Playbook but that will be about all it will be good for if BB10 is a bust. Then on to Android to play with the Samsung's....

But nice to hear some positive news about RIM.

Genuinely hate Blackberries - it deserves to go bankrupt! Short it to ZERO. Crapberry Kevin should consider another project. This one will not even be here in 12 months. Hahahahahaha

Well, it is so nice to see someone posting where they really like the subject and the product.

GET A LIFE.

RIM was raped by almighty Apple Computer and it's genius Saint Steve. Lazaridis, Balsillie, Heinous - are all raped by ultra iOS and Android.

Steve was a knob. I actually look up to Lazaridis - someone INTELLIGENT. GENUINELY intelligent. That Apple idiot had to resort to pathetic marketing strategies and mouth-effery. They will definitely pay for it down the road, you grammatically-challenged little fella!

RIM's current management are loosers - CEO Heinous did it with Siemens Mobile and now he will bury RIM. Long live almighty Apple

As the great Ben Graham said, "You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right." Chris, I hope your data and reasoning are right.

Hopefully we can recover. I been following the stock quote from 7 this morning and it was higher but still falling. I have a feeling RIM will pick up its growth soon

Love Blackberry but they are going down for a reason!

Still waiting for an Upgrade for my 9780 (Around 2 Years - Tmobile still in V6.0.0.448) Memory leak in the browser is killing me.

Still waiting for 9790 in the USA

After more than a year the Playbook is finally "kind" of doing what it was supposed to do since day one (This is a joke for the people that believed in them.)

How are they going to get better is they don’t bring anything good to the US market plus they don’t care about software upgrades.

Best Phones for enterprise use but not sure if this is enough.

Iphone and Android are at least 5 years ahead, Even Crapsoft (Microsoft) is ahead of them.

RIM do your magic or RIP now.

Even Crackberry.com is getting boring, always the same the same the same, nothing new.

Listen man, first of all, OTHER. COUNTRIES. DO. EXIST.

*ahem*

Now, your issue with T-Mobile isn't necessarily RIM's issue as it is theirs ultimately. If they have no faith in a company like RIM, which they likely don't because all they probably sling are iPhones and Wahndroids, they aren't going to make incremental OS updates a priority. It sucks, but it's the truth.

The PlayBook is great, and I can sort of tell you don't own one based on the passion of your ill-informed comment.

Lastly, consider the companies "ahead" all you want. In my opinion, they're not comparable. They offer something completely different, and you may have to plug in your handset partway thru in order to finish whatever it is. :\

I have been using Blackberry devices for the last 10 years (RIM 850) and I have been really Happy.

I paid $499 for a 16gb Playbook as soon they came out. I can get the same hardware with a better software today for LESS than half the PRICE (What did I get from RIM? Nothing).

I want to change my 9780 because T-Mobile is not updating the software but the phone that I want is not available in any carrier in the US Bold 9790. I have a Bold 9900 for business use but it is too big.

Last, you are not fully correct about telling me that is T-Mobile fault (OS upgrades), the issue is RIM policies and the way they do business with the carriers.

I'm sorry for the misunderstanding then, and I'm also sorry you feel that way.

I was hoping to be corrected if I was wrong about the official carrier releases, but I'm under the impression that the releases are provided from RIM and tested by the carrier then released via carrier once approved from there.

However, owning a 9900 I can definitely agree on the jump in size (I had a 9700) and the 9790 really maintains that.

The playbook numbers could be a game changer this quarter.

The 485 million write down in December represents 1.7 million playbooks and 85 cents a share.

If rim has sold those off since November when they went on sale that could add big time to this quarters numbers. Any playbook they sold is going to show up as profit.

Taking analyst estimates of 65-85 cents plus surprising playbook sales which may add 0-85 cents.

If they sold a million PB at $500+ for the year. It's not far fetched to assume they double those numbers when the price was cut to $200.

Add to that the idea of releasing a 3g version may be a hint that they are gaining traction.

Anyone have any insight

Don't worry RIM will start to pick up in the US once BB10 is released. They still dominate the smart phone market in the UK.

Chris - let's review one specific comment in your article, that I want to draw attention to, with the goal of answering the question - 'is RIM keeping pace with the market, or dying a slow death?' - here's your comment:

"Comscore tells us that, as an OEM, RIM has 6.6% of mobile subscribers in the US market for the quarter ending January 2012. This is flat with the prior quarter, meaning that RIM is not losing market share as a vendor."

OK so that says RIM's share was flat for the quarter ending Jan 2012, when compared to the previous quarter. What I want to know is:

What was the overall market growth for that same time period? If RIM's share was flat, meaning - not growing - and the market IS growing by X percent, that means RIM is effectively LOSING market share. See what I mean? If you're running a marathon at the same pace per mile, and the other guys are lowering their pace for each mile, you are losing the race. Slowly but surely.

Is that what's happening to RIM? I think so, based on these numbers.

Is RIM's loosing streak over? It depends how you measure "loosing". From what I can tell, no. But I will continue to support them because they offer the product that works best for me. I am not the average consumer though, so they need to focus on what attracts the average consumer.

My fear with RIM is that they think they need to make things cheap to sell them. That's not the case, what they need to do is make something that works well and is compatible with a broad range of things with an ecosystem of apps that is on par with the competition. Not numbers-wise, but the apps that people want. Then advertise it well to show people what it can do.

Consumers in general (judging from the iPod,iPad,iPhone,iEtc, have proven that they're willing to pay for something that does a good job at entertaining them. RIM already has communications down fairly well, they need to focus on entertaining people with colorful and high res images and everything else that sells.

Nice article though, it is encouraging to see that they're starting to turn around.

YES!

I mean it's not even the apps, I download very limited amount of apps on any phones I own, but the compatibility with other devices. When people say Apple is popular for no reason, they just don't realize how well the computers, phones, tablets sync and function together. Android has the advantage of integrating well with google's web services. RIM has nothing. Someone in another post commented that BB is compatible with all computers, that's just ignorant, plugging in a cable and doing everything manually is not called compatible anymore. Sony is now smart tags, which means you have modules saved onto a physical tag that you can place anywhere, Motorola does crazy amount of docks and hook the phone up with anything possible, they are certainly things that RIM could do. RIM still hasn't shown that they have any clue what's going on in the smartphone market. They are still going "oh, it's just that our OS is outdated, everything will be fixed once we have a new OS"...NO, your entire process and system is outdated, a BB is still largely a phone with IM and email while the other smartphones have evolved into something so much more and is actually relevant to other aspects of life. Even getting information in and out of the phone takes quite a bit of manual efforts, it's just a semi-smartphone, it has a long way to go. The problem is will it be able to catch up even it does move at maximum speed (which RIM is not even doing right now).

The way I read this is:

RIM has shrunk to its core user base in the US. They are now holding their user base. The other oems are seeing people ditch their dumb phones for their smartphones. So while android is becoming more and more popular than bbos, the people jumping on it are now former users of Samsung/LG/Motorola dumb phones as opposed to former users of BlackBerry smartphones as it has been in the past.

That isn't good news for RIM, it's just less bad than it has been recently. RIM must be growing at the rate of the overall cell phone market (in the US) when it would ideally be growing at the rate of Smartphone growth or higher.

I work for a large US Insurance company and everyone in the Canadian office is upgrading to BB7, had a choice of 9790, 9900 or 9810. I chose 9790, replacing my 9780, because my kid just loves his.
BlackBerry's are workhorse, the best business phone.

I wouldn't say dead, but dying, certainly. If they actually understand the nature of the smartphone market and does a u-turn with products that are relevant, then I think they can start anew anytime as long as they still have money. Certainly, the direction RIM heading is looking quite pessimistic and a lot of chances have been wasted on launching products that are simply not relevant function-wise. The last generation of smartphone focused on making life simple and allowed a certain degree of interactions between the phone and appliances and most daily electronics, and RIM is still quite far from that and seems to be heading somewhere else. Their biggest challenge is that by the time BB10 is released, they are not even competing with last or this generation, they are competing with the next generation where the functions that they haven't even shown any sign of are already outdated. However, if a new platform like wp could actually still grow, then I think that's a sign that RIM could, theoretically, restart everything, but they certainly need to do much better research on what the market really wants that isn't already in the market.

Given cellphone purchases typically are linked to expiring 2 year contracts I would be cautious to read too much into this one quarter data point. Looking at the Comscore numbers for the past year there are a number of points where things appear to stabilize from one month to the next, or even rebound slightly. Jan 12 - 6.6%, Dec 11 - 6.7%, Nov 11 - 6.5%, Oct 11 - 6.6%, Sept 11 - 7.1%, Aug 11 - 7.1%, Jul 11 - 7.6%, Jun 11 - 7.9%, May 11 - 8.1%, Apr 11 - 8.2%, Mar 11 - 8.4%, Feb 11 - 8.6%, Jan 11 - 8.6%

First step with 2 parts. Launch a BB10 device that is amazing, on time, with no major or annoying bugs. Launch of BB10 must be done with an amazing marketing campaign. Essentially, your amazing payload (BB10) must be delivered with an inspiring marketing vehicle like a stealth jet fighter, not a crop duster. Whatever marketing firm is at the helm right now must go. They need a marketing firm with an amazing communications, strategic market insight and top notch political marketing strategists. Hold it steady, don't waver and hold on.

you know, i ve tried 3 different android phones from 2 different carriers and i had nothing but problems with all of them. i have now come back to blackberry because it just works......sure i wish there were apps, and maybe some new phones, and definitely have to get the software and browser better, but overall the blackberry JUST works.....and works pretty well.

you know, i ve tried 3 different android phones from 2 different carriers and i had nothing but problems with all of them. i have now come back to blackberry because it just works......sure i wish there were apps, and maybe some new phones, and definitely have to get the software and browser better, but overall the blackberry JUST works.....and works pretty well.

I agree with everyone saying RIM needs marketing, marketing, marketing, but they need carriers to push BlackBerrys just as much if not more. They can have the best commercials ever, but if the consumer goes to buy a phone( BlackBerry ) and the sales guy (who probably doesn't know much, and probaby pushes the phone he prefers) tells them you don't want a BlackBerry they're crap & this droid does this cool new feature of the month, the commercial won't do any good. They gotta get the carriers back on board. Also apps.. Yes apps are a big deal these days, but I truly believe RIM is already doing everything they can to get developers on board. Since OS2.0 was released the new arrival section of AppWorld changes everyday, with a lot of "filler" apps that are horrible, but every manufacturer has them, and people do download them. In my opinion quality is way better than quantity in this area. People asked for apps and they're getting them. They are also getting the bigger more popular apps on board too, it just takes longer than we all would like. I have no doubt at all that BlackBerry 10 devices will be awesome, and will sell. But for RIM to start making any kind of comeback they need great marketing and for carriers to push them like crack!!

The new BB10 device is looking sweet! We have a glimpse of what the OS will be like with PlayBook 2.0. RIM is not that far away from finishing that up. Some changes will have to be done on the BIS and BES servers to accommodate the BB10 devices, but I expect that to start within the next few months in anticipation of those sweet superphones!

You can expect RIM not to make the mistake of releasing them too soon. They've learned that lesson with the PlayBook. Don't expect them to make the same mistake again.

Well back when they were releasing the Playbook os v1, we all thought RIM was launching things too quickly that's why they are not ready...but now it seems like we were wrong, they just worked too slow...they are so extremely slow that the gap is just getting wider and wider...

For the other smartphones, we are seeing them differentiating and each new premium handset now almost always have some sort of unique functions or specs that we have never seen or heard of before...and yet RIM is just crawling very slowly and fail to put anything innovative onto the table

You can bet that RIM has their best people on BB10. Now that PlayBook 2.0 is out, BB10 is everyone's focus. Even PlayBook 2.0 was a step towards BB10. Indeed, the company knows the importance of hitting a home run with BB10 and I expect they will deliver. We're going to see a different RIM than we have seen before. Not just because of the change at the top but the change of mindset, which Mike had started.

I believe Thorsten is the right person to take them forward and I expect he will fix some of the issues RIM has been lacking: marketing, on-time delivery schedules, "finished" products. You've got to care about the details -- every last detail! RIM always made great hardware, now they've got to make great software to go along with it! The QNX team will help!

Sorry, but people rave about TAT, and what they're doing is cool, but the core engine that drives the entire platform matters more. Has anyone ever had to do a battery pull on their PlayBook? :)

Man oh man, all this banter for what? What the heck else do you need from your phone these days?? What is so terrible about the 9900? I've had the top three devices and personally? I can browse fast as he'll, I can tweet, Facebook, business use, take great video, conference, killer contact integration......wtf else do you people need right now that is so lacking? As a business user and family man, my bb does everything and more importantly need it too. The end.

RIM? Just get your friggen advertising moving already. That's about it.

I'd be curious to see if there are any similar numbers for Canadian market share specifically instead of US. I think (not sure) BB is doing slightly better here then in the US, but I have nothing to base that off of, just observing which handsets I see when I'm out and about (Android/BB/Apple). Anyone have any info on this?