Verizon BlackBerry Sales Down 45% Since Last Year – Research

Since October 2009, BlackBerry has slowly but steadily been losing sales on America’s top carrier, Verizon Wireless, to Android handsets (mostly Motorola, but also LG and Samsung). This probably isn’t a huge surprise to anyone who has seen Verizon’s aggressive (and awesome) Android marketing; in fact, Verizon would go so far as to say as they’re responsible for Android’s success. The graph above, by ITG Investment Research, illustrates BlackBerry’s 45% drop on Verizon over the last year, with a forecast for being down 49% in the fourth quarter. Considering BlackBerry at one point accounted for over 90% of Verizon’s smartphone sales and are now under 20%, I do worry for RIM’s future in the U.S.

Being a devout BlackBerry user, I tend to brush off the poor public speaking skills of RIM’s CEOs and the resulting poor public perception, but when hard numbers like this come in, it’s really hard to ignore. Apple passed RIM as the number two smartphone maker earlier this year, which was another definite down-note, and all the more reason for RIM to get the PlayBook’s operating system onto their handsets as quickly as possible. RIM might argue that they’re a global company, but the U.S. is a massive market that really can’t be ignored, even if BlackBerry beats the competition elsewhere in the world. The only forseeable savior for RIM on Verizon is a new BlackBerry Storm launching with their LTE network. It’ll be interesting to see just how much more share BlackBerry would lose if Verizon picks up the iPhone.

[via AllThingsD]

  • Merk

    Definitely interesting, but this chart would be more helpful and would provide a more complete picture if it were presented with a second chart showing sheer numbers of smartphone unit sales by VZW and the breakdown of units sold from each brand. It’s possible that RIM’s total number of units sold didn’t drop nearly as severely as their % of units sold did since the entire smartphone market is growing and more total units are being sold overall. Since the whole “smartphone pie” is getting bigger, RIM’s drop might just mean (in part) that RIM isn’t getting its share of first-time smartphone purchasers. I’m sure that’s not totally true, but it would help to see the total unit volume in addition the percentages to see how each brand is doing in terms of units out the door.

    • Anonymous

      The only numbers provided mixed in feature phone sales from other manufacturers An odd choice considering the research is supposed to be about hard numbers It would also be intertesting to find out how they calculated these numbers since Verizon stopped reporting device sales after January 2009.

  • jay

    yeah very true, merk. One more thing most people have already set up a 2 year plan when signing up for those droids and droid 2s. so come really why wouldn’t there be a small decline. never fails what give Apple fan-boys an excuse never is granted to to other players in the market.

  • Anonymous

    And Simon(along with pretty much every other blog) has confused market share with sales. As more smartphones are offered, it is only logical that RIM’s market share on that carrier is going to decline.

    I know most of the blogs don’t care about actual business and prefer research reports but would it kill you guys to figure out what it’s really saying? Or to remember that RIM has only launched two products on Verizon this year?

  • Anonymous

    Just to flesh this out even more. The chart starts in April of 2009, six or seven months after the start of the financial crisis which accelerated the abandonment of the Windows Mobile platform. RIM has over 90% of Verizon’s sales because they were the only one putting out product. If ITG were to push the timeline back to 2008, we would see the current “exploding” Android manufacturers in similar positions as they appear now.

    All this research is showing is that the manufacturers who stopped making phones for Verizon during the recession have returned but with a new OS platform. They’ve swapped out WinMo for Android. This is the problem with bloggers and the media constantly referring to Android as if the phones are produced by Google instead of the real manufacturers.

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