Apple has dealt an embarrassing blow to RIM with iPhone sales outselling BlackBerry sales on its home turf for the first time. Has RIM bottomed out?
Remember that part in The Lord of the Rings when the Orcs crash through the, supposedly impenetrable, fortress of Helms Deep and start indiscriminately slaying the men of Rohan? Well that's how RIM must be feeling with news that iPhone sales have overtaken BlackBerry sales on the company's home soil.
'At least there's Canada,' RIM must have felt during a torrid 2011. 'Apple will never be able to beat us here,' it must have prayed as it relied on home turf to keep it safe from predators.
Well its prayers were in vain because in 2011, Apple sold 2.85 million iPhones in the country, while RIM sold 2.08 BlackBerry smartphones. The figures represent a shocking decline for RIM which outsold the iPhone five-to-one back in 2008.
As US sales slumped 45 per cent, year on year, during the last quarter, sales of BlackBerry handsets in Canada fell 23 per cent, proving that home-field advantage was no competition for the innovative iOS/iPhone offerings.
Toronto-based fund manager Paul Taylor says: “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."
RIM will now be relying on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system to reinvigorate the brand (acting as the late-coming Gandalf The White-style saviour if you will), not only in Canada, but across the world as it faces up to the grim reality of another year in the doldrums.
It's not all bad news though, earlier this month we reported that the BlackBerry PlayBook was outselling the iPad 2 in some Canadian Best Buy outlets. Well, at least Apple isn't releasing a new iPad anytime soon... wait a minute.