Android: RIM's worst nightmare

Android: RIM's worst nightmare

Summary: The data points on Android market share keep coming and the story is the same: Google's mobile operating system is gaining share at a rapid clip. However, most of those share gains are coming at Research in Motion's expense.

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The data points on Android market share keep coming and the story is the same: Google's mobile operating system is gaining share at a rapid clip. However, most of those share gains are coming at Research in Motion's expense. Android is quickly becoming RIM's worst nightmare.

First, Canalys reports that devices running Android had 44 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in the third quarter. Apple also ousted RIM from the top spot with 26 percent market share. NPD's figures show more Android domination---the OS was installed on 44 percent of all smartphones in the third quarter, up 11 percent from the second quarter.

NPD has Apple's iOS rising a point to 23 percent. RIM fell to third from 28 percent to 22 percent.

But here's the money quote from NPD analyst Ross Rubin:

Much of Android’s quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple. The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide.

And graphically speaking here's RIM's situation:

Now if Apple lands at Verizon perhaps the Android onslaught is slowed a bit. But none of that will matter for RIM, which is systematically being crowded out of Verizon.

So now we have the following situation for RIM:

  • The Torch is the lead RIM device, but it's only at AT&T;
  • RIM would need a dozen new smartphones to even come close to matching the Android tide;
  • Android devices are eyeing the enterprise too;
  • RIM's Playbook is an unknown commodity at the moment.

It's not totally dire for RIM, but it's unclear what it can do to turn things around. It has already launched its new operating system.

Topics: Hardware, Android, Google, Mobility, Operating Systems, BlackBerry, Smartphones, Software

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57 comments
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  • Correction

    Android is any competing vendor's worst nightmare!
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • Not exactly true.

      It was the only other phone OS opposed to iOS for smartphone.

      Now RIM has their new OS out, WebOS will be HP's, so they might be one vendor only, but WP7 OS is available to all manufacturers.

      If even 25% of smartphone buyers go with that, the remaining 75% to go with Android, that's a pretty hefty chunch away from Android, enough to have people take notice.

      [i]Competition[/i] is everybody's worse nightmare, including Android.
      John Zern
      • There is no evidence that Android will loose share to the others.

        Most likely, WP7 could gain a couple of points in the enterprise at the expense of RIM. WebOS will only be on HP branded phones, so do not look for it to make much of a difference. It might be a better strategy for HP to stop making the hardware themselves, and licence it to all hardware vendors. Blackberry really only has one phone that competes with the flood of Android devices.
        DonnieBoy
      • Rate of growth

        @John Zern
        It isn't rocket science. Just determine the slope and extrapolate future growth. It's obviously taking off, well like a rocket.
        Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
      • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

        @DonnieBoy [b]WebOS will only be on HP branded phones, so do not look for it to make much of a difference[/b] The same thing was said about the iOS... and look at Apple's success.

        [b]Blackberry really only has one phone that competes with the flood of Android devices.[/b] Android may have a couple more devices in the wild than Blackberry but Blackberry has quite a few devices - there is the Torch, Bold, Curve, Storm, and the new flip phone with the full querty keyboard the name of which I'm forgetting right now... the only manufacturer that has essentially one model smartphone device is Apple.
        athynz
      • athynz. Apple has the mind share and, the best, most stylish phone, and,

        the most recognize luxury brand. HP does not have that, nor does RIM. Yes, RIM has a number of models, but, they are all so yesterday, ugly.

        And, do not try to minimize the number of Android devices. It is a flood of devices on ALL major carriers.
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

        @John Zern WebOS though it looks like a really good system will never have the devices to attract people. Honestly I don't see WP7 taking a bite of anyone for a few years. They'll have to learn that people aren't going to like this interface first. Some tweaks to the home screen and I could see it taking off slightly.

        But for the most part...what incentive do the manufacturers have in pushing WP7 when they now have their own OS and can implement any feature they see useful in WP7. They did this once already with WebOS and the senergy feature. They actually have more incentive to do this than to go back to relying on an OS where they have much less control over their destiny. With Android its on them as to whether the features are there to move their units. And you can't say Google controls it because of the way Android is designed. Everything right down to the core functions of the device is an app and they are all treated equally. So all the OEM's have to do is develop their app to replace the stock functionality and Google is always improving the ability to do this in the API's. For instance lets say people for some reason like the WP7 home screen UI. The OEM simply writes an app to replace the stock home screen/launcher. In fact long before then I expect to see one in the market anyway.

        Now maybe you all will start to understand what happens when openness breaks through the noise. Android is basically something that can't be bottled back up outside of introducing a better open platform. In that case Meego may be the only thing capable of stopping it.
        storm14k
      • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

        @John Zern Correction, competion is only manufacturers worst nightmare. It isn't a consumer's worst nightmare unless you happen to prefer monopoly pricing and choice.
        zclayton2
    • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate - Larry Dignan is any blog readers worst nightmare! He must be fired! Ugh, what an ill-informed dweeb he is!
      The Danger is Microsoft
      • I like Larry. He is smart, reports it like it is, no bias.

        Oh, and he does not whine and try to get my posts deleted like Ed Bot does. Though the editorial staff is on to Ed and they have not deleted any of my posts lately. I would not be surprised if Ed gets dropped sooner or later.
        DonnieBoy
    • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate

      Until I can click on a phone number with extension or dial in passcode, I'm on blackberry.
      Android is remiss in this one BUSINESS NECESSARY feature, available for a decade on blackberry and winmo phones.

      When you can dial a PGI audio conference including the passcode with 2 clicks on android, then and only then is android a BUSINESS ready phone.
      bigjohn1980
    • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate

      You are so right. Having Google spyware on the majority of the smartphones in the world represents a nightmare. The phones may be smart, but the purchasers, certainly are not.
      jorjitop
  • Android will also be Microsoft's worst nightmare trying to claw into the

    smartphone market.
    DonnieBoy
    • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

      @DonnieBoy Verizon could be a problem. They have a way of crippling phone features that cut into their revenue stream. So if MS is willing to play their game, they could have an ally.
      Al_nyc
      • WP7 only works with GSM, so, there will be no WP7 phone on Verizon for a

        while anyway. But, even then, WP7 has a sucky user interface, and is a day late and a dollar short.
        DonnieBoy
      • and grids of icons is the best UI?

        Or are we talking about the Android UI that every company throws their own over?
        Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

    It's stupid that the ONLY touchscreen BB on the market, is on only one carrier. RIM shot themselves in the foot with whatever carrier exclusive agreement they made with AT&T. They'll never catch up at this point, if they continue this way.
    unredeemed
    • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

      @unredeemed

      Storm and Storm 2 on Verizon. Torch on AT&T. so there are 2 touch screen BB on 2 of the bigger networks.
      tiderulz
      • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

        @tiderulz
        The Storm is pretty bad as a phone... The Torch, the saving grace with BB6, should be the flagship, it is the newer phone I believe...
        But carrier exclusive contracts are just one of the reasons that carriers/manufacturers/etc are not as successful as others. If the iPhone were on multiple carriers, worldwide, You could have expected it to be 4x what it is now in deployments if not more.
        unredeemed
    • RE: Android: RIM's worst nightmare

      @unredeemed - RIM may have wanted to get the visual voice mail. Don't know. But it's one BIG reason I use an iPhone 3G (waiting another 6-12 months to get the iPhone 4 even thought my contract is up).
      The Danger is Microsoft