Market Already Bored by BlackBerry 7?
Though they ginned up a fair bit of interest following their market debut, sales of Research In Motion’s new line of BlackBerry 7 smartphones are beginning to slow. Undermining their momentum: The continued popularity of the iPhone, anticipation of the U.S. release of the new Galaxy Nexus, and growing excitement around Windows Phone devices from Nokia, Samsung and HTC.
Is BlackBerry 7 petering out already? Canaccord analyst T. Michael Walkley says it might be.
“Our recent checks indicate slowing global sales with continued weak consumer sales in the U.S. In fact, our checks indicated weaker sales to consumers for BlackBerry 7 models at Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint as those channels remain dominated by iPhone and Android smartphones,” Walkley wrote in a research bulletin to clients. “Further, our checks indicate slowing global sales of all BlackBerry 7 models, including the Bold 9900, post the launch of the iPhone 4S and price reductions for the legacy iPhone 4 and 3GS.”
The situation in emerging markets like India and Indonesia is no better. RIM’s sales have been slowing there, as the company’s handsets struggle to hold their own against devices like Nokia’s Asha. Priced well below RIM’s BlackBerry Curve, the Asha could end up taking a lot of share from RIM at the lower end of the market, if RIM’s not careful.
Troubling trends, all of them — particularly since Walkley’s previous checks indicated solid initial sales and strong enterprise upgrade demand for the BlackBerry Bold.
With RIM’s new BBX smartphones unlikely to launch until mid-2012, it’s looking like next year may be as tough for RIM as 2011.