Call it the home-field advantage.
Research in Motion may be losing market share in the rest of the world, but the company’s BlackBerry is still hanging on to top spot in the Canadian smartphone market, according to a new study.
The study, from U.S.-based market research firm comScore, found that BlackBerry had 32.6 per cent of the Canadian smartphone market in 2011, with Apple’s iPhone in second at 31.2 per cent and phones using Google’s Android operating system in third at 27.9 per cent.
“Canada was the only smartphone market reported by comScore in which RIM still maintained the leading position,” noted the report, which found nonetheless that BlackBerry lost six per cent market share over the last six months in Canada, most of it to Android.
The report looked at mobile industry trends in Canada, the U.S., Japan and five European countries.
It found that smart phones are making up an increasingly large percentage of the overall cell phone market — in the U.S. over the last year, smart phones shot to 41.8 per cent of the market, from 27 per cent in 2010. In Canada, smart phones have a 45.3 per cent share. In some European countries, smart phones now make up more than half of all cell phones.
Still, while Canada was a bright spot for RIM, the rest of the picture wasn’t so good for the Waterloo-based company.
In the highly-competitive U.S. market, Android is king, with a 47.3 per cent share. Android’s rapid growth has come largely at RIM’s expense, the report noted.
“Where are all these new Android owners coming from? Data suggest that many RIM users are actually shifting to Android when they purchase a new smartphone,” the report noted.
“Despite being a longtime market leader in the U.S., RIM faced challenges in reacting to rapidly-changing consumer preferences for a better browsing experience, sleeker touch interface, and an expanded app marketplace,” the reports authors added.
Still, with a wide variety of Android phones being made by several different companies, no single model had a big chunk of the U.S. market. The three most-purchased smartphones in the U.S. last year were different iPhones, with RIM’s BlackBerry Curve 8530 coming in fourth.