CANADIAN BLACKBERRY MAKER Research in Motion (RIM) has been knocked off the top of the smartphone shipment league in its home country for the first time.
Sales figures show that the Ontario based company flogged 2.08 million Blackberrys last year in Canada but was pipped at the post by Apple, which shipped 2.85 million units in the country over the same period.
The data, which was produced by research group IDC for Bloomberg, reveals that in 2010 there were around 500,000 more Blackberry devices sold in Canada than Iphones. According to IDC estimates, in 2008 Blackberry devices were outselling Iphones by a factor of five, showing the speed of RIM's decline in its own back yard.
Paul Taylor, a fund manager at BMO Harris Private Banking in Toronto who manages about $15bn in assets, including RIM and Apple shares, told Bloomberg that the Blackberry's decline was due in large part to the Iphone's ease of use and superior portfolio of apps.
"For RIM, in its home market, to lose that No. 1 position to iPhone is strategically important," Taylor said.
"It does identify, even with a home-country bias, how consumers are responding to the greater functionality of the iPhone."
The loss of domestic smartphone market supremacy comes after RIM admitted that it will not upgrade its current Blackberry devices to its upcoming Blackberry 10 operating system, a limitation that could make punters think twice about buying the company's kit.
At RIM's first Developer Conference in Europe last month Vivek Bhardwaj, head of the software portfolio at RIM, told The INQUIRER, "Our currently Blackberry line of smartphones will still remain based on our current Blackberry operating system."
RIM has so far not responded to our request for comment. µ