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Fall from Grace: Blackberry Continues Downward Dive Among US Users

Blackberry was once the most popular phone in the smartphone market, but a lack of innovation and a refusal to focus on the consumer market put the onetime tech giant into a slide from the No. 1 used smartphone platform to a shell of its former self. Blackberry eventually went through a massive corporate overhaul and introduced their Blackberry 10 lineup of phones including the Z10 and Q10. These phones were supposed to put Blackberry back on the map, both in the treasured U.S. market and abroad.

However, that strategy doesn’t seem to be working for Blackberry. According to June numbers from research firm comScore, Blackberry’s market share has fallen another 15 percent in the coveted U.S. market. As reported by

“The June numbers from comScore are out and the biggest surprise concerns BlackBerry. According to the research firm, BlackBerry’s share of US smartphone subscribers tanked to 4.4% in three months ending in June from 5.2% in three months ending in March. That is a 0.8 percentage point drop in just one quarter. People have grown blasé about BlackBerry decline in America, but this quarter was not like any other. The April-June period was when the key new Z1o and Q10 models both ramped up in North America. In that sense, this spring was a key test of whether BlackBerry can stop its US share plunge. It does not look like it can.”

The reason those Blackberry devices didn’t work here in the U.S. is because there was no unique selling feature that gave users a reason to choose them over the other devices on the market. So now Blackberry’s success as a device maker lies firmly on the international markets like the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Blackberry may already be losing ground in some of those key markets, as people are choosing other messaging services over their once-dominant Blackberry Messenger. According to

“The instant messaging landscape is changing rapidly across Africa, and according to a recent report by analysts at Strategy Worx there are an estimated 10 million WhatsApp subscribers in South Africa alone. The continent is also being heavily targetted by Tencent’s WeChat, which is already more popular as a mobile app than Skype in China and has around 400m users worldwide.”

Whether or not Blackberry can be successful in those markets, is yet to be seen. Ultimately Blackberry will probably have to start looking at themselves as a software company rather than a mobile device maker. It’s a path they are already heading down, as they are set to release Blackberry Messenger on other platforms such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Once that happens there will be almost no reason, other than sentimental, for consumers to even think about getting a Blackberry device.


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