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RIM's growth is over: Has Android killed BlackBerry?
Android has a massive leading market share. An IDC report showed that Android handsets accounted for 68.1 percent of all smartphones shipped during the second quarter of 2012. In that same period BlackBerry accounted for 4.8 percent. Despite the steady slump in BlackBerry sales, the user base has been climbing slowly, because the overall smartphone market has been growing so much. However, analysts are now predicting a real decline in BlackBerry subscribers.
If we go back to 2009 BlackBerry had a 50 percent share of the smartphone market. Where did it go? Most of it went to Android. It now looks like BlackBerry will peak at around 80 million users and it remains to be seen whether the delayed BlackBerry 10 can do anything to arrest a steady decline or even a sudden free-fall. The new version of the BB platform is not going to launch until 2013 and catching up with Android and iOS functionality is not going to be enough for the beleaguered Canadian company.
RIM’s market cap is now sitting at around $3.3 billion. That makes it a relatively cheap acquisition, but who would buy? There’s little doubt that if BB 10 fails, RIM will need to drastically change its ideas about being a major smartphone player or possibly even sell the company. If 2013 is the year that we finally see the long predicted death of RIM you’ll be able to pan back from the corpse and see Android holding the smoking gun.
Perhaps RIM should have adopted Android and carved out a niche based on its distinctive handset design and enterprise know-how. Does anyone believe BB 10 can turn things around?