RIM beats Apple in one-hit wonder quarter. What's next?

RIM beats Apple in one-hit wonder quarter. What's next?

Summary: From what the numbers show, RIM's buy-one-get-one-free Blackberry promotion was a first quarter smash, sending consumer sales figures skyrocketing past the competition - namely, the iPhone. (Techmeme)Now what?

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From what the numbers show, RIM's buy-one-get-one-free Blackberry promotion was a first quarter smash, sending consumer sales figures skyrocketing past the competition - namely, the iPhone. (Techmeme)

Now what?

Don't get me wrong. This is a good thing for RIM - and Verizon. Market research firm NPD Group says RIM's market share jumped 15 percent from the previous quarter up to nearly 50 percent. (Apple and Palm each lost 10 percent share for the quarter). Those new Blackberry owners are now locked into the pricier data plan for a couple of years. With cancellation fees and all, they're less likely to bail out for the shiny new iPhone or Palm Pre, which is expected to launch soon. And don't forget that lineup of Motorola Android phones expected out for the holiday season.

RIM has long been a leader in smartphones - they were the first and, in the enterprise, they've been mainstream for a long time. Bottom line: they had a headstart in this smartphone game. With the competition about to heat up again and the enterprise market still singing the the economy blues, RIM had to turn to the consumer to gain some ground.

It was probably a good time for them to press that turbo boost button and shoot farther ahead to take a healthier lead. The road ahead is uncertain for RIM and it's not just the launch of the Pre and a new iPhone that the company should be thinking about. Want to look at the flip side of this NPD report? How about the cannibalization of the enterprise business?

Last week, I chimed in about an analyst's report that said RIM was solid in the long-term because of the pent-up demand for replacements in the enterprise when the economy starts to recover. I argued that the Bring Your Own factor could have an impact on that "pent-up demand" if companies don't need to replace devices for employees who prefer to use their own. Thanks to the consumer 2-for-1 promo, there are a lot more Blackberrys in the hands of people who otherwise might have been issued on by their employers. Now, the boss is off the hook.

Poll: Do you get mobile work e-mail from your own device or a company-issued one?

That's just one thing that RIM execs are dealing with. Other points to ponder:

Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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10 comments
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  • BOGO

    OK so everyone rushed to get this buy one get one free deal,
    which inflated the sales. So how are things going to look for
    RIM's next couple of quarters when the sales slow to a crawl?
    observer1959
  • Well.........

    Bet if Apple had a two-for-one iPhone sale, they'd do quite well
    too, eh? Looks like a RIM/Verizon desperation grab to me.
    Userama
  • RE: RIM beats Apple in one-hit wonder quarter. What's next?

    Still, I think this is good for iPhone and Apple, because it
    keeps them innovating. Granted, I don't think "2 for 1" sales
    are innovation, but the numbers do fire up Apple on creating
    new features and points-of-differences to help justify both
    the price and lust-factor of an iPhone. The App Store is
    definitely the killer app as long as the iPhone keeps closing
    the "missing features" list like Cut & Paste and video camera.
    pairof9s
  • I'd like a 2 for 1 iPhone sale

    My daughter really wants one and my
    wife's very old Moto phone is hanging on
    until we see what Apple is going to
    release this June.

    RIM is probably wise in their promotion,
    however, as the objective is to get product
    out the door and RIM isn't going to loose
    money.
    Ken_z
  • No news here - RIM has always outsold Apple

    RIM has consistently outsold Apple in the USA by at least two to one.

    Quarterly sales are not a good comparison, since each company has brought out new models which did well in their respective quarter.

    Total sales over time are more meaingful.

    Apple needs to bring out more models, and put them on more carriers.
    kdarling
    • Wow, that's actually funny.

      Apple has blown away the competition since they released the iphone. And we see Rim having to give away phones in order to bump Apple for one quarter. Apple doesn't need more models, The iPhone does it all.

      I agree that they need more carriers and that idea scares the hell out of ATT.
      EdumacationIT
  • I don't see the blackberry and the iphone as competitors

    The iphone is consumer oriented, the blackberry is business oriented, and they have very different ranges of available software.
    Spiritusindomit@...
    • not after iphone OS 3.0

      ...then the iphone will cover both consumers and business alike
      especially if they open it to more carriers and then what? 3 for 1?

      And i will not even mention the expected hardware!

      Rim, Nokia, sony - erricson, motorola, they have to come up with
      something really innovative, useful and beautiful, but so far only Palm
      comes close ( at least on paper)!

      For example in Greece a country full of Nokias and Sonys with better
      cameras video GPS, and flash and copy paste the iphone thrives and
      the Greek Language is not even supported yet! (3.0 will fix it). But it is
      not locked to any carriers!

      by June....Good luck!

      Apple is out to do what it did with the ipod, dominate the market (
      now this is scary), and they know how to do it!
      akaralia
  • The iPhone is bleeding for a refresh

    Firstly:
    The buy 1 get 1 free deal was an INCREDIBLY smart move
    by Verizon, it has offered the incentive needed to get a lot
    of their target market locked into a new subscription and
    effectively immunise them against the imminent release of
    the Palm Pre and the rumoured July refresh of the iPhone,
    while introducing a lot of first time users to RIM devices at
    the same time i'm sure. Whoever was behind that clever
    piece of marketing deserves a raise.

    As for the iPhone:
    I feel this proves that the iPhone is bleeding for a refresh.
    While I still feel that a phone is not the sum of it's technical
    specs list, I do believe that most users still look at the tech
    specs first when choosing a new phone. The enormous
    advantage the iPhone had in usability and with the iTunes
    eco-system is also being diluted very rapidly by the
    introduction of competing eco-systems and more usable
    smartphones from the likes of RIM and Pre. At least MSFT
    is still sitting on their asses slating .5 releases as major
    releases, although manufacturers like HTC are having some
    success building a layer over winmo to create the illusion
    of usability.

    The iPhone was a unique device when it was first release
    and it could create a quasi-monopoly for itself for a while
    but the competition has woken up and Apple is going to
    have to work very hard and very fast now to stay
    competitive.

    If I was Apple and AT&T I'd start looking at ways of selling
    the refresh in advance (get an old one now, free/cheap
    upgrade on release?), to hedge against subscribers running
    after offers like the Verizon b1free1 offer.
    theoxygenthief
  • RE: RIM beats Apple in one-hit wonder quarter. What's next?

    some very good thoughts in all the posts above.

    Even though with a 'buy one get one free', someone,
    somewhere, though not 'losing' money, is missing out on
    some profits, I believe that it weakens the future sales, as
    now people will wait or expect a two for one deal.

    On the flip side, Apple usually gives away iPod Touches
    with the purchase of a mac during their back to school
    sale, because once someone gets their hands on a Touch,
    they become part of Apple's ecosystem, and Apple wants
    to own the smartphone/internet device market just like it
    owns the mp3 player market.

    In a recent poll of high school kids, 100% of them, yes
    100% said their next mp3 player would be an iPod. Apple
    has grabbed the youth market by the throat and I don't see
    any product coming out that will loosen that grip.

    A few years ago, my nieces college wouldn't allow macs,
    now the kids clamor for macbooks. The world is changing.

    These are the same kids that will be running IT shops
    some day soon. Apple is in for its best days ahead. Man I
    wish I had more money to buy their stock!!
    ShazAmerica