BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s smartphone market share will slip to as low as 0.3% by 2018, according to a quarterly report from IDC published on Wednesday. International Data Corp (IDC) said in its report that BlackBerry would ship only 9.7 million units this year, a decline of 50% over last year. Sales for the Canadian smartphone maker are not expected to revive anytime soon.

BlackBerry

“The question of whether BlackBerry can survive continues to surface,” states the report. “The only way the company will be viable is likely through a niche approach based on its security assets.”

Blackberry losing grip on stronghold markets

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) launched a low-cost touchscreen smartphone Z3 this month in Indonesia, which is the first phone since the arrival of John Chen as chief executive late last year. Two years back, BlackBerry had a massive 40% market share in Indonesia, but since then it has declined to just around 4% following the company’s disappointing roll out of BB10 phones.

IDC reported that it is expecting a double-digit rise in global demand for smartphones by 2018 and shipments are expected to more than double in the vital emerging markets of Indonesia, India and Russia. This figure is after excluding BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). Samsung is expected to lead with 78% of the market share in 2018, whereas Apple will be at the second place with 14% share.

Chen confident of turnaround

Recently, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) chief executive John Chen said that the chances of BlackBerry surviving have improved. Chen is now feeling more optimistic compared to when he joined BlackBerry. Though Chen agrees that the Canadian smartphone maker still has some problems, it isn’t dead.

“I am quite confident that we’ll be able to save the patient,” Chen said while speaking at the Re/code technology conference in California on Wednesday.

A few months back, Chen said in an interview to the Amanda Lang, host of CBC News Network’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange that he wanted to reassure users that the company is not going anywhere. Chen said that he does not want anyone to think that BlackBerry is no longer in the mass market. However, to revive the company financially, he needs to focus on enterprise customers first.

Chen, who is known for turning around the software company Sybase into a profitable operation for mobile business technology, was brought in last year in November by BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) to revive its dipping fortunes.