RIM Web Usage Down 25% in the Past Year

RIM Web Usage Down 25% in the Past Year

  • 16 August 2012

– Apple Mobile Traffic Up 35% in Same Period –

Most smartphones today are made cooperatively by two companies – one company manufactures the physical phone, like Nokia, Motorola or Samsung, and another produces the software that runs on the phone, such as Windows and Google (Android). The most notable exception to this is Apple, which both builds the iPhone and develops its operating system.

Research In Motion (RIM), the creator of the BlackBerry smartphone, follows the same structure as Apple – creating both its phones’ hardware and software. BlackBerry was one of the first true smartphones, and RIM’s complete control of its product let them create a device that integrated well into business environments with remarkable security. This advantage led BlackBerry to be the preeminent business smartphone for a number of years.  But more recently, Apple’s market share has skyrocketed, while RIM’s has plummeted.

A recent report from IDC pegged RIM’s quarterly market share at 4.8% based on sales – the company’s lowest mark in this area since 2009. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS shipped 16.9% of all phones worldwide. The Chitika Insights team was interested in seeing how these global figures translate to overall Web usage in North America by analyzing the past year of mobile usage statistics.

Despite the original similarity in mobile business models, the graphs below show two nearly polar opposite results. Apple’s success with both the iPhone and iPad have led its devices to command a staggering 63% of all mobile traffic – up nearly 35% from slightly under year ago. RIM’s devices, despite the launch of the company’s long-developed BlackBerry Playbook tablet, control just over 1% of all mobile traffic after dropping almost 25% from last September.  The data for these graphs was gathered from Chitika Insights‘ market share reports, which can be found here, along with accompanying methodology.

A widely shared belief is that RIM’s lackluster response to the iPhone was a critical mistake that cost BlackBerry its top market position late last decade. This downward trend is likely to continue, as the loss in market share and revenue has caused RIM to lay off workers. RIM has even pushed back its new operating system release to next year (2013), which means the company will have to miss out on a chance to introduce new features and functions to support its customers and help attract new ones. This divided focus of RIM, while previously an asset, may now be helping to create a product that lacks innovation and market understanding.

If RIM is to survive, it is either going to need to integrate its hardware and software to create a stunning, unique device, or change its business model to focus only on creating the hardware or software for smartphones – a move that has already been addressed by RIM executives.