Research in Motion had long been the darling among corporate Canada’s circles, but it seems that the smartphone manufacturer has been on a long and steady slide for a few years now – even losing out top spot in the smartphone industry to Apple’s iPhone. This is the first time such a thing happened, where RIM shipped 2.08 million BlackBerrys in Canada last year, while Apple beat it by 800,000 units more – according to data compiled by IDC and Bloomberg. Contrast that to how RIM outsold Apple by 5 to 1 just 4 years ago. So much for customer loyalty among locals – I guess customers can only take so much before they decide to vote otherwise with their wallet.
According to Paul Taylor, a fund manager at BMO Harris Private Banking in Toronto, “For RIM, in its home market, to lose that No. 1 position to iPhone is strategically important. It does identify, even with a home-country bias, how consumers are responding to the greater functionality of the iPhone.” It would be interesting to see just what RIM’s management will do to arrest the slide that has become a contagion worldwide.