iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre: Methadone for the CrackBerry Addict
Research in Motion best get to work refreshing its shopworn BlackBerry line, and fast, because growing competition from new rivals like the iPhone 3GS and Pre are cutting into its market share.
According to retail checks conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst T. Michael Walkley, the BlackBerry slowed as the summer kicked off and AT&T (T) and Sprint (S) began peddling new smartphone offerings from Apple (AAPL) and Palm (PALM).
“Our checks indicated BlackBerry sales declined in June at AT&T and Sprint due to increasing smartphone competition, as BlackBerry sales appeared to lose share to the Palm Pre at Sprint and the new 3GS iPhone and older $99 iPhone at AT&T,” Walkey wrote in a research note to clients. “BlackBerry sales at T-Mobile remained solid, but Verizon sales were slightly weaker following the termination of the buy one, get one promotion.”
Unfortunate news for RIM (RIMM), but perhaps to be expected given the lackadaisical evolution of the company’s product line. New devices with advanced features, not incremental improvements, are what it’s going to take to compete the with iPhone and Pre, and soon, with the G2, the latest phone based on Google’s (GOOG) Android OS.
Consider this: A recent ChangeWave survey of over 4,000 respondents found that more than 14 percent plan to purchase a smartphone in the next 90 days. Of those, 44 percent said they plan to buy an iPhone, compared to 23 percent who said they’ll opt for a BlackBerry (click on chart below to enlarge).