BlackBerry is in trouble, at least according to Avian Research analyst Matthew Thornton.
Thornton says that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is unlikely to see any growth in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in 2011 as “incremental competition” from Android and expanded distribution of the iPhone undermine RIM’s presence in the smartphone market.
In addition, RIM is expected to lose a “considerable” amount of shelf space at carriers Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
“Android reviews and numerous launches will clearly eat into share, especially at Verizon,” Thornton said in a statement. “One example we have seen is a Verizon offer to Storm 1 users to switch to Storm 2 or Droid regardless of where they are in their contract. We assume some of those 5 million RIM users will be lost.”
Thornton believes these factors will drive RIM to explore outside its core markets,
which accounted for about 23 percent of sales over the past year. The increased dependence on non-core markets in areas like Latin America “introduces increased risk,” reports Thornton.
According to an October Gartner report, BlackBerry will have 14 percent market share in the smartphone market by 2012. This puts the platform slightly ahead of the iPhone but considerably under Android-based devices, which are expected to have an 18 percent market share that year.