Now more than ever
Of all the erroneous allegations made about Research In Motion over the years, the most persistent has been that some competitor is developing a killer device that will either end RIM’s growing dominance or dispatch the company into oblivion. Analyst Mike Urlocker once drew up a list of all the products that had been billed by somebody as “BlackBerry killers.” They included Palm 7, Qualcomm PDQ, Motorola PageWriter, Motorola T900, 3G, MSFT Exchange Server 2003, Compaq Ipaq, Ogo, Sidekick, Nokia E62, Sendo, Microsoft Stinger, and Pocket PC. To that list could be added other, more recent, mainstream candidates such as Palm Pre and Apple’s iPhone.
“I couldn’t name another company that has been so consistently underestimated, even to this day,” Urlocker, a technology analyst with GMP Securities told me during the research for my book. “They don’t follow a trend, they create trends. How could some company in Waterloo get that right? The reason is that Mike Lazaridis stuck to fundamental principles of physics and engineering. He understood the limitations that a network, or a battery, or a colour screen imposed on devices.”
BlackBerry ranks #1 in North America and market share numbers on global smartphone sales released today by Strategy Analytics show that RIM is on a roll globally. According to the figures, there were 53 million smartphones sold in the fourth quarter of 2009. RIM, Apple and Nokia are all gaining market share with Nokia in the lead at 39 per cent, BlackBerry next at 20 per cent and the iPhone at 16 per cent. “RIM continues to expand its international footprint beyond the core territory of North America deeper into Western Europe and parts of Asia,” said the report from the Boston-based research firm.