The launch of BlackBerry's BB10 operating system has failed to arrest a slide in sales, as manufacturer competition heats up.
According to the latest stats from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months until the end of February, BlackBerry's share slumped to 5.1% from 16.8% a year ago. This was in spite of the first BB10 device, the Z10, hitting the market in the UK at the end of January amid a high profile advertising campaign. Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at the agency, said: 'The launch of the BlackBerry Z10 has not resulted in an immediate turn around for the Canadian company in Great Britain. Although the new model received great reviews, it’s going to take time for BlackBerry to see share gains. Consumers just don’t have the same levels of pent up demand for the handset as they did for the iPhone 5.
'Over the past few years it has been BlackBerry’s budget devices, like the Curve 8520 and 9320, which have been selling well and these attract a young, price sensitive consumer. The Z10 is a high-end handset with a price to match, so going after its existing base of consumers will require a significant trade up. The handset is likely to start selling in more serious numbers once the launch price falls, and BlackBerry 10 in general, when the range is padded out with a number of wallet-friendly mid-range offerings.'
Sunnebo said the research showed some good signs for the smaller manufacturers tussling for share underneath market leaders Apple and Samsung. Nokia was boosted by its higher margin Windows Phone 8 devices, with a share of 5.6%. Sunnebo said LG had been boosted by ferocious demand for its Google Nexus 4 device. He said: 'Over the past few months, there have been signs of a more competitive manufacturer dynamic. LG’s share of the market has grown by +4% year on year and HTC’s share (9.1%) is beginning to edge up again – its refreshed HTC One X+ and HTC 8S are selling well, confirming its position as the third largest smartphone manufacturer in Great Britain.'
Android remained the UK's number one OS, with a share up 10 percentage points to 58.3%. This was largely driven by Samsung, which had a 36.2% share. Apple sat in second place with a 29.0% share. Windows Phone's share has more than doubled to 6.7% during the past 12 months. Smartphone penetration now sits at 63%.
Author: Graeme Neill