BlackBerry’s position as the top smartphone brand for under 25s is under threat from rival HTC, new figures have revealed.
According to research by analyst firm GfK, despite accounting for 21% of smartphone owners aged under 25 in the year ended December 2010, the appeal of budget Android-powered handsets and free apps on Android Market represent a serious threat to BlackBerry’s popularity among teenagers.
BlackBerry’s market share among under 25s has grown rapidly over the past two years, driven mainly by its instant messaging service. Over a third of participants taking part in the study admitted that BlackBerry’s USP, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), influenced the purchase of their smartphone.
However, the research also claims that because the 12-16-year-old market lacked loyalty, the free apps available on the Android Market could be enough to rival BBM’s appeal.
GfK research specialist Adelynne Chao said: ‘If HTC moves in with a low-cost Android handset, it could seriously take a lot of market share from BlackBerry. Low priced handsets from HTC could become the next highly desired brand among teenagers.’
The research comes just days after HTC reported double profits in the three months to June. The manufacturer reported a net profit of $17.2bn Taiwanese dollars (£380m) up from 8.64bn (£187m) in June 2010. Sales also increased 88% to $1.55bn.