Apple’s iPhone beats BlackBerry in RIM’s home turf

Tapping IDC data, Bloomberg says Apple’s iPhone last year outsold Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphone in Canada, where the embattled BlackBerry maker is headquartered. The numbers say Apple shipped 2.85 million iPhones in Canada last year versus 2.08 million BlackBerrys.

Compare this to 2010 when the BlackBerry topped the iPhone by half a million. It gets even better as “this is down from 2008 when RIM out shipped Apple almost five to one”, the publication noted.

Paul Taylor, a fund manager at BMO Harris Private Banking in Toronto, puts it best:

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.

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives dropped the BlackBerry in favor of the iPhone and Houston, Texas-based Halliburton followed suit – as did many businesses across the globe in years past.

BlackBerrys are still more widely-used than iPhones in RIM’s traditional strongholds, the Middle East and Africa where the company shipped 8.3 million units last year versus 2.5 million iPhones. BlackBerrys are also pretty popular in Saudi Arabia thanks to RIM’s free BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging app, though Apple erased this differentiator by unveiling the free iMessage messaging platform as part of iOS 5 launch last October.

Research In Motion defined the smartphone category with its BlackBerry smartphone and for years the brand had been synonymous for smartphones. But with the 2007 iPhone introduction and Google’s entrance in the mobile space with the Android platform, BlackBerry has lost its allure. To make matters worse, the company’s management has been in denial ever since. Shrinking sales, tarnished brand and incompetency sent the company into a downward spiral, culminating with the ousting of co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Basille.


Lazaridis inability to steer the ship became painfully evident when he abruptly halted an interview following a question for BBC Click about RIM’s problems in India and the Middle East, as seen in the above clip. His sidekick Basille slammed Steve Jobs’s notion that seven-inch tablet are dead on arrival, telling CrackBerry that “customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple”.

Is this a deer in the headlights syndrome or what? Feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comment section below.