Posts Tagged ‘ Blackberry ’

Canada is a year behind in Mobile Trends

Online Graphing

I could pretty much just post this chart and call it a day. The numbers are taken from the just released data from Quorus Consulting for Canadian statistics and from Nielson for the US numbers. It clearly shows the Canadian market in 2011 mirroring what the US looked like a year before.

So why the discrepancy? Well it’s likely a number of factors but ultimately it boils down to three; loyalty, pricing and marketing.

Loyalty is the obvious one, RIM is a Canadian company and people enjoy supporting a product of Canada. Also since so many businesses, schools and government are built around the blackberry it makes moving to an alternative more difficult.

Pricing is definitely another proponent of slowing down progress and has much to do with Canadian carriers and their three year contracts. I’m still on a contract from my 2008 purchase of a Windows Mobile HTC Touch Pro. To upgrade before August of 2011 I have had to buy my Android phone at full price.

It’s not just contract pricing but also device pricing that has helped Blackberry stay on top. RIM has done well due to inexpensive devices like the Curve and the Pearl. These devices were often given away for free with contract and offered a better experience than the competition could provide at that price point. But Canada is finally starting to get some inexpensive Android devices worth owning that offer the better experience in lower price bracket.

The biggest reason for the discrepancy is marketing and is something that Apple excels at. What has kept Android behind is the lack of centralized marketing. Google doesn’t push Android like Apple or RIM does with iOS and BlackBerry. It’s up to the carriers and manufacturers to do so and as a result the message is fairly fragmented.

It is in this very area that US differs drastically and is all thanks to Apple’s bad decision to limit the iPhone to AT&T. Verizon (AT&T’s biggest competitor) in an effort to stay relevant in the smartphone space heavily promoted Android. The Droid namesake was bought and sold by Verizon with a consistent message, Droid Does. The recent change in Apple’s approach which brought the iPhone to Verizon has done very little to slow Android down. The damage was down and it all started with the original Droid back in late 2009. It was the spark that lit the fire and brought Android to the mainstream and informed the masses of a true alternative to iOS.

No carrier in Canada has done for Android what Verizon did in the US. But with recent increases in Android alternatives on all Canadian carriers and no new iPhone in sight the summer of 2011 could turn out to be a big quarter for Android. I’ll have to come back to this next year and see just how much Canada has progressed.


How Android Is Taking Over


From Gigaom

Apple is scared of Androids

Apple is going to be ending its 5 year agreement for exclusivity with AT&T this year and it’s because their scared of Androids.

Apple had given everyone in the smartphone industry a wakeup call in early 2007 with the launch of the iPhone and Google is giving it back to them this year. A few key elements most likely set the bells blaring at Apple HQ. First was Android surpassing iPhone in the previous quarter in sales, second was Android surpassing iPhone in app and web usage according to Admob, and finally Google’s impressive Keynote at the 2010 Google I/O and their announcement of what’s to come with future Android releases.

Apple is scared because they must release a hardware and software update that will be competitive for a whole year and that’s just not possible with the amount of competition in the smartphone industry. Android is showing some rapid growth and with what’s to come it shows no signs of slowing down. Currently they have the HTC Incredible and the EVO 4G, Froyo is coming Spring\Summer and Gingerbread is coming Fall\Winter. We will probably see another 50 Android handsets land by the end of the year, with 20 just from Motorola alone.

When Apple releases the iPhone 4G in June it will sell huge and they may even take the next quarter back and take their place back in second. But I suspect by years end Apple will indeed be in 3rd place as I suspect that Android will take number 2. Android will not last long in second as by the 2nd quarter of 2011 they will be number 1. Since Apple will have nothing new for the fall and winter, their sales will plateau. To help this Apple will make their phone available on Sprint and \ or Verizon. Apple is betting Android’s sales are due to a lack of iPhone on the other carriers. This may have been the case for some in 2009, but by the end of 2010 it will be clear that Android has a life of its own. It won’t kill Android but it will help Apple stay in the game.

The end of the year has two unlikely candidates also vying for a chance at smartphone stardom. Microsoft will launch Windows Phone 7 and HP will be trying to give WebOS another push. I’m not completely counting them out, but no matter what momentum they do bring to the market they won’t have any chance of taking the top 3 till well into 2011.

The smartphone market has always been interesting, but this year will truly be the best so far.

These are my predictions for the year to follow if Apple does not make their phone available on another carrier they will not be able to maintain the growth they will see when they launch the iPhone 4 on AT&T in June.

Dave Loft

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