A recent study by ChangeWave examined trends in mobile operating system preferences, and showed that 5% of respondents would prefer to buy a Windows Phone, versus 4% who wanted a BlackBerry. Of course, the difference between the two is negligible when the iPhone OS and Android took up 36% and 35% respectively, but it does say something bad about RIM’s momentum in the grand scheme of smartphones. The survey also examined satisfaction levels, which placed Windows Phone at 44% of people being very satisfied, versus 72% of iOS users and 58% for Android. There’s no mention of the BlackBerry number without a premium subscription, but considering how ChangeWave ranked RIM’s customer satisfaction in November, I’m going to guess it will be comparable or worse to WP7.
RIM’s next batch of BlackBerry handsets look to be yet another iteration on established form factors and OS paradigms, so there’s little reason to expect these trends to change dramatically within the year. Maybe once 2012 rolls around and we start seeing dual-core BlackBerrys that run the PlayBook’s QNX operating system, things will improve, but by that time the competition will have that much more of a head start. Regardless, it’s not like RIM’s losing money or anything; the market’s simply expanding, and there are more palatable alternatives becoming available to consumers now. I suspect that in the long haul, BlackBerry will hold onto a hardcore niche and remain the handset of choice for enterprise until the other platforms offer some kind of rich unified management system like BES.
[via Network World]