Can Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) survive as a service company?
Earlier this week BlackBerry launched its long anticipated Secure Work Space – an addition to BlackBerry Enterprise Server, or BES, which some analysts think could represent the future of the Waterloo firm. But no, BES and services won’t save this troubled company.
The sad decline
Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has plummeted from its once lofty heights atop the smartphone industry. A hubris plagued management team assumed the BlackBerry brand was unassailable to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android.
But that assumption proved to be wrong. Today, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has completely lost the consumer market. The company sits in fourth place based on market share lagging behind the struggling Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone.
In five years, the industry has shifted into a two-player duopoly pushing out second tier platforms.
According to ComScore, iOS holds 39.2% of U.S. market share and accounted for 41.4% of April smartphone sales.
Android has an even bigger lead with 52.0% of U.S. smartphone market share. In China, the world’s largest smartphone market, Android has gobbled up 51.4% of market share. Because Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) licenses out its operating system to manufacturers for free, Android handsets have a significant price advantage.
What’s worse is BlackBerry has lost its edge in the corporate space which represented the company’s last stronghold. According to a report by IDC, enterprises are increasingly switching to iPhone and Android devices as more companies adopt Bring-Your-Own-Device, or BYOD, polices.
Because employees have more choice, they’re increasingly choosing alternative brands. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been particularly effective at gaining ground in enterprise. While Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s installed base remains larger, enterprise iPhone shipments exceeded BlackBerry for the first time ever last year.