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ITG: “Android dominates smartphones at Verizon, squeezing RIM”

December 13, 2010

Blackberry manufacturer RIM’s decline is no surprise – in fact, they’ve earned it, for several reasons:

  • They charge extra for the same service offered by others:  for example, with LightYear wireless, BB service is an extra $15/month!  For what?  Nothing extra, in my opinion.
  • The BB sync setup is very user-unfriendly:  for example, six months ago I couldn’t sync my BB with Google Mobile!  (Has that changed since then?)  Also, the BB desktop was simply awful to understand and difficult to decipher.
  • BB Apps are few and far between, compared to other OS’ (Android, iOS, Windows Mobile).

If RIM wanted to maintain market share, they had to seriously upgrade the OS, but they got comfortable and got passed by.  At this point, they need a miracle just to maintain their current market share.  Red highlights are mine.

Analyst: Android dominates smartphones at Verizon, squeezing RIM
December 13, 2010 — 10:47am ET | By Phil Goldstein

Devices running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform made up 80 percent of the smartphones Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) sold in November, according to analysis by ITG Investment Research. The popularity of Android at Verizon appears to have cut into the sales of Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) gadgets–a worrisome development for the BlackBerry maker, which has historically relied on Verizon for a large portion of its sales.

The figures, which ITG analyst Matthew Goodman provided to the blog AllThingsD, provide a detailed breakdown of handset sales at Verizon by vendor. A Verizon spokesman declined to comment.

RIM, which was Verizon’s flagship smartphone partner two holiday seasons ago when it released the BlackBerry Storm, has seen its share at Verizon drop significantly during the past two years, down to approximately 20 percent of smartphones sales in November, according to the ITG figures. RIM’s drop has coincided with Android’s precipitous rise. According to separate reports from November from research firms Canalys and the NPD Group, Android captured around 44 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in the third quarter–besting both iPhone maker Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and RIM.

The figures from ITG show that LG sold the most overall handsets through Verizon this year, followed by Samsung, Motorola (NYSE:MOT), RIM and HTC.

Interestingly, another analyst offered a different spin on the Verizon numbers.

Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, in a research report released today, concluded that Verizon’s heavy support for Android has not dented the iPhone’s growth at AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), which might be the reason Verizon has reportedly accepted Apple’s terms for the iPhone. Multiple reports have indicated Verizon will launch the iPhone early next year, though the carrier and Apple have declined to comment on the rumors.

“It is perhaps coincidental that the rumors of a Verizon deal with Apple seem to have started in earnest right after August,” Deidu wrote. “It’s thin, circumstantial evidence, but the only evidence we have to corroborate the data above is that Verizon has been signaling more desperation.”

For more:
– see this AllThingsD article
– see this Fortune article

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