Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be happy today to have beaten a legend at home. It turns out the company’s iPhone outsold Research In Motion’s (NADAQ:RIMM) Blackberry in sales last year in RIM’s home country of Canada. RIM for a long time produced the most critically acclaimed and coveted smart phones on the market, until Apple took the smartphone from the business and professional sector and brought it to everybody. 2011 was the first time that result showed in Canada. Apple’s iPhone outsold the Blackberry by almost a 50% margin.
In 2011 RIM shipped 2.08 million Blackberrys while Apple sold 2.85 million of its iPhones. The company’s have switched positions after some time. In 2010 500,000 more Blackberrys were sold and in 2008 there was a five to one ratio in the RIM’s favor. The change makes sense, Blackberry were the market leader in the Smartphone sector for years concentrating on marketing the devices for business people and professionals. Back then the greatest assets for a smartphone were its email capability, full keyboard, and organisation tools. Apple changed that with the launch of its iPhone. The most popular application for a smartphone these days are in the vein of Instagram and Angry Birds rather than calendars. Smart phones have become a commodity for everyone, from teenagers to priests, this was the real revolution Apple caused with its iPhone.
Blackberry failed to follow Apple’s lead and was quickly outstripped by Google’s Android Operating System as well. The plethora of smart phones now on the market makes for huge challenges in differentiating your device from the others. Blackberry has tried several things in the past year, including the release of a Tablet running a unique OS, that have not managed to save the company’s fortunes. It’s tablet was deemed a failure and its CEOs, there were two of them, were removed and replaced by a single one. The company’s outlook was upgraded recently by Morgan Stanley but that report recognised real problems. The author said that RIM would have a disappointing quarter which would be followed by a worse one in Q1 2012.
Prem Watsa recently doubled his stake in the company showing that not all Canadians have lost faith. He was also added to the company’s board. He obviously sees some kind of potential in the company’s future though its recent performance does not inspire confidence.