The makers of BlackBerry have started the fightback to regain their place in the UK smartphone market. Canadian manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has announced they have added over a million new subscribers to its subscriber base in the UK since May. It means over eight million have now signed up.
BlackBerry has lost out during 2011 against Android and cheap iPhone contracts; however with the launch of the BlackBerry Bold 9790 along with the BlackBerry Curve 9380 and the launch of BBM Music in the UK, they are hoping to win back some lost market share.
Around the world, BlackBerry has seen around a 40% increase in its subscriber base. Just over a year ago the figure stood at 50million, it is now 70 million. Around 165 million smartphones in the market place are BlackBerry. They may look like impressive figures but in the UK in October this year RIM was pushed into third place in terms of sales figures of smartphones. Android secured 46% of the market in the 12 weeks before 30th October, iOS got 27.8% of the market while RIM dropped from 20.9% of the market this time last year to 19.6% now.
Some believe their reduction in their share of the smartphone market has been caused by simply not releasing devices that are as good as their competitors. Smaller screens, competing with dual-core processors and 8 megapixel cameras, BlackBerry devices have not been seen to measure up and so they have lost out. Coupled with that Apple and Android have directly targeted RIM’s core target market; iMessage taking on the dominant BBM and Android emphasising the ease of which its devices can be used for business.
The BlackBerry Bold 9790 aims to change all that. With a touch display and traditional keyboard the device has a 1 GHz processor and 8GB of memory. A memory card slot offers an additional 32 GB of storage. Powered with 768MB RAM and with a 5 megapixel camera the device is targeted at the UK’s ever expanding smartphone market. Additional features include Augmented Reality, NFC Capability, and the ability to synchronize with computers and other devices. The 9790 uses BlackBerry’s new OS, BB7, which, in addition to other features, allows users to separate their personal and their corporate content. Building on BlackBerry’s domination and reputation in the business market it offers the opportunity for people to use one device for home and work, but still make a clear distinction between the two.
The device launched in Indonesia last month but enthusiasm turned sour when several people were injured after a stampede broke out. The first 1,000 people to buy the new device would get a 50% discount. RIM has said they will launch their own investigation.
BlackBerry may be in third place in the UK smartphone market but a drop in its reach compared with major competitors Apple and Android has shown the manufacturer needs to regain its position and launch a new device with the wow factor and cheap BlackBerry phone deals. They will be hoping the BlackBerry Bold 9790 does just that when it is released in January.
I would like to thank Simon from Best Mobile Contracts for submitting this guest post.
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