Obviously trouble has been in the wings for RIM for a long time now, with recent layoffs and news that the company would be operating at a loss topping headlines. A shuffling of the deck among the executives was inevitable, but the further delaying of BlackBerry 10 caused quite a stir in the markets.
The news from IDC might not be all that surprising given the above, but the slide in fortunes for RIM according to IDC’s data does prove educational. “RIM is in uncharted territory now,” says Kevin Restivo, an analyst with IDC. “Its newfound standing in the world is a direct result of intense competition and share losses to the likes of Apple, Samsung and other Android-powered phone sellers. RIM needs new products in market soon if it’s to staunch the bleeding.”
In 2007, RIM held 10 percent of market share. By 2008, the Waterloo company was up to 15.6 percent. It reached its highest level in 2009 with 19.9 of the global smartphone market, but that wasn’t going to last long. As the market was saturated with new smartphone products from the likes of Apple’s iPhone, RIM began to stumble. By 2010, market share was down to 16 percent. A year later, the tumble was to the 10.3 percent mark and RIM found itself in a tailspin.
Now, RIM sits at a meagre 6.7 percent of the global smartphone market – and there may be no turning back.
Since IDC began tracking the stats in 2004, RIM has always found itself in the top five. By contrast, Samsung sat at just 1.8 percent in 2007. And now the company claims 32.6 percent in the most recently measured fiscal quarter.
Surprisingly, RIM is still seeing growth in some global markets. The company has made no bones about that, clinging to even the slightest signs of success in an attempt to boost its outlook. While market share in the United States has nearly fallen off the map, RIM still hopes that emerging markets like Latin America and Africa can help. China, a potentially huge market, is Apple territory for the time being and it doesn’t look like much is going to change that.