Verizon’s Cure for CrackBerry Addiction: Android
Another handful of worrisome data points for Research in Motion, which appears to be slipping down carriers’ priority lists as the BlackBerry struggles for purchase in an increasingly sophisticated market. New Verizon sales metrics from ITG Investment Research analyst Matthew Goodman paint a picture of RIM that, while not yet dire, describe a worrisome trend.
According to Goodman, who obtains his data from independent wireless retailers, 80 percent of smartphone sales at Verizon in November were Android devices (46 percent of those were Droids). Which is astonishing for two reasons. 1.) That’s a huge percentage for a relatively new mobile OS in a very competitive market. 2.) In December of 2008, RIM was touting the BlackBerry as Verizon’s best-selling device. In two years, it’s gone from a flagship to a johnboat.
And with Android continuing to lead smartphone sales growth at Verizon, it seems increasingly unlikely that the BlackBerry will ever reclaim its lost title. With sales of the Tour/Bold series dwindling and no Storm refresh in sight, BlackBerry sales at Verizon are in serious decline. They dropped 45 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of this year, and Goodman sees them trending down 49 percent YOY in the fourth.
An ugly and humiliating decline, and worrisome. Because if the BlackBerry is faring this poorly against Android at Verizon, how will it fare against Android and the iPhone, which is widely expected to debut on the carrier’s network next year?
No wonder Verizon doesn’t think the upcoming launch of BlackBerry 6 devices on its network will have a “material impact” on sales. Why would it?
Incidentally, if you haven’t yet checked out our coverage of RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis’s appearance at D:Mobile earlier this week, you should.