Is RIM's market share headed below 5 percent?

According to one analyst, RIM may only be able to hold onto 5 percent of the mobile market share by the time BlackBerry 10 devices are expected to launch in October.

Research In Motion

On the eve of Research In Motion's developer conference in Orlando, Fla., one analyst warned that the company may lose out on even more precious market share to Apple and Google.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue told Reuters that Apple and Samsung continue to lead the race for the top spot, while others are "donating" market share.

At the last count, RIM had 8.8 percent of the market share for the fourth-quarter, according to research group Gartner, a figure down by nearly half on the year earlier. ComScore figures for November-February show a a steeper drop. with HTC replacing RIM in fifth place in the top mobile OEMs category, indicating less than 6.3 percent of the mobile market share.

But while RIM aims to launch its next-generation BlackBerry smartphones later this year -- pegged for October, reports suggest -- the company could find its market share dropping 5 percent or less, Sue said.

RIM only has a trickle of new BlackBerry customers as the company loses ground to smartphone makers with greater popularity. In the meantime, RIM is branching out to the emerging markets for a short-term revenue "hit" in order to prop the company up until BlackBerry 10 devices launch.

But in taking the long view, RIM could bounce back. It means a strategy shift for the company. First and foremost, it needs to get BlackBerry 10 out the door sooner rather than later. But if it's not ready, it's not ready. It can't pull a 'PlayBook' with a smartphone line-up and release the hardware without crucial elements of the smartphone like it did with its tablet.

RIM will just have to wait until its long-term fix comes in. If BlackBerry 10 fails, likely the company will, too.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "RIM's market share may drop to 5 percent: analyst."

 

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