Big fat zero: BlackBerry U.S. market share hits rock bottom, survey says
BlackBerry captured zero percent of the U.S. consumer smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a survey by market research firm CIRP. That's none, or at least not enough worth mentioning. Even dumbphones had a greater share of the market, at 3 percent of all sales.
The U.S. market continues to be dominated by the iPhone and Android, with 48 percent share for the former and 46 percent for the latter. Windows Phone snagged the remaining 3 percent.
In fairness, CIRP counts only consumers, not the enterprise market that BlackBerry is most interested in keeping afloat. Also, CIRP's survey has a sample size of just 500 people. Other estimates have been more favorable to BlackBerry, including a November report from comScore that counted a 3.5 percent share for the company—not much, but better than a big, fat zero.
Still, the survey is a stark reminder of BlackBerry's unenviable situation. The company has essentially given up on the U.S. consumer market. The BlackBerry 10 failed to spark interest in its first year of existence. A goose egg in consumer market share could spell trouble down the road as more enterprise users bring their own devices, but for now there isn't much Blackberry can do but cater to the users it has already.
That could mean a longer lifespan for BlackBerry 7, even as Blackberry 10 gets new features such as the ability to run Android apps. It also explains why CEO John Chen has recommitted to physical keyboards over full touchscreen phones.