Blackberry 7 device sales slowing after promising start

Blackberry 7 device sales slowing after promising start
Research in Motion has had a tough year. Playbook sales are well below expectations and are now heavily discounted. BlackBerry phones have been hemorrhaging market share to Android and iOS quarter after quarter. So it was with great fanfare this summer that RIM was able to trumpet one of their best product launches ever – they introduced several phones in their new BlackBerry 7 series with a global roll out that saw strong early demand.

Fast forward a couple months: with the holiday shopping season fast approaching, the tide is beginning to head back out. Sales of the new phones may be slowing across the board, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley, whose inventory checks included Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint.

Walkley blames the introduction of the iPhone 4S, and the concurrent price reduction of older iPhone models for stealing some market share. He also thinks the excitement generated around Ice Cream Sandwich and new high-end Android handsets are further eroding RIM’s market standing.

Walkley foresees even greater competition for RIM in 2012, as sub $200 Android and Nokia handsets should begin to eat further into the lower-margin developing markets where BlackBerrys have remained popular. Competition from the recently introduced Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet will also create continued pressure on the PlayBook and its successors.

What does this all mean for RIM? Probably shringing market share and even smaller margins as they try to position themselves against the onslaught of iOS, Android, Symbian, and even WP7 phones. With expectations that we won’t see RIM's next-gen BBX handsets until sometime in Q3 of 2012, next summer can’t get here soon enough for Research in Motion.

source: CNET



1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I can't imagine why BB 7 device sales are slowing. I wonder if it has anything to do with BB9900/30 handsets bricking up? Or, maybe it is because there are so many Android handsets with everything better about them? Hey, even Apple has an upgraded handset and OS option that is arguably more attractive than what RIM is offering. Best yet, if you live in an area served by VZW's LTE, BB handsets would relegate their owners to life in the slow lane. Somehow, I suspect 4Q2011 sales of BB 7 handsets won't meet hopes and aspirations of RIM.

8. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Blackberry has the best build quality, ive used a blackberry 8310 for 3 years, its now retired in my drawer, but it still works, would you ever use an android phone for 3 years? would it even last that long? No.

9. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Uh, I know at least two people who have just recently traded in their G1. And the G1 came out in August of 08, and they got it around that time so it would be about 3 years. Also, Blackberry's optical touchpad wears out within 6 months and gets to the point that you can't even move your finger over it without it pressing as if to select something. I thought it was just mine, but I had a few friends that owned ones with the same touchpad and they had similar problems. The only promising future for Blackberry is QNX which they have said isn't going to be released in smartphones til Q3 of next year. By that time you will have it go up against the iphone 5 and phones with the newest OS produced by Android. Microsoft will have WIndows 8 out which will give windows phone a unique interface between your computer, xbox, and phone. I mean this is just my opinion but it's not hard to see that they are in trouble.

11. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I guess if your 8310 didn't brick up on you, it might last. My last BB was an 8330 that bricked up on me (Java exception error of some sort, it was a while ago). At the time, there was no solution other than wait for a fix to be released by RIM. I went back to my Palm Treo until the Droid started to ship and then that was my last BB. When the Droid X started to ship, I swapped the Droid for a Droid X. The person who purchased the Droid is still using it, so I guess that is a testament to longevity.

13. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Why do people equate one experience with the entire line. Your experience is just one of many that makes up with the average. What really matters isn't the outliers, but the average. That said, the average build quality is not the "best" by a long shot based on the market surveys.

14. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"That said, the average build quality is not the "best" by a long shot based on the market surveys." It would appear that my 'experience' was shared by enough other BB owners to elevate it to something close to the average experience at the time. In any event, I was sharing my experience as a counterpoint to another poster's experience.

2. Alantef

Posts: 288; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

i haven't sold a blackberry in about a year.....if that...

3. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

I haven't cared about a Blackberry in over a...well I never cared about them at all. BB7 and QNX looked promising, but RIM is so in the hole now. How the mighty have fallen.

6. xray174

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

if that makes u feel happy good for u

4. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Why am I not surprised.


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

the last time i owned a blackery phone was back on 08, and i really dont think ive missed much, all blackberries are still the same as 3 years ago.. not very appealing at all

12. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"all blackberries are still the same as 3 years ago.." At least RIM is future-proofing their products.... You know your BB purchase will be the same product that is selling 3 years from now.

7. LewsTherin006

Posts: 140; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

RIM is way too late to the game, at least in the US. Android and iOS have pretty much taken over, with win7 coming in 3rd. The things that made blackberry good are now on android and iOS, and blackberrys apps arent that popular.

10. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I was consisting a Bold 9900 but then decided a decent android phone would be much more versatile. BBs still have a name in our teen communities and if RIM made them more affordable, more apps, and less of a monotonous OS then there may be a new surge in interest. You can tell in an interview with lazaridas he is very scared but they are trying, that much you can tell.

15. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I agree they are trying. They have a sense of urgency and are out promoting their product. But after how long of isolating themselves, patting themselves on the back, and taking advantage of their loyal Crackberry crowd and the professionals who put their product on the map? Now, I will say this: the BBX (or QNX after they lose that lawsuit on the BBX name) Operating System and the next generation BB that is coming in 2012 is what RIM has been pointing to for 2 years. So in that regard, we may have to give them until after the release of these devices to really see how far they have fallen or if it was all worth the wait. I really believed that Blackberry was going to be fine back when I first joined the Phone Arena crowd in October of last year. I was a huge RIM defender. (I was so young and innocent back then.) I have done a 180 on them since, seeing nothing that makes me think they will survive as an independent hardware and software company. I do not think they can keep up doing both. Last gasps of a drowning company is coming- do their feet touch ground and do they pull themselves out from the deep end of the pool? Or are we watching RIM going under with the cramps they inflicted on themselves? " my life I am going down for the last time...."

16. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Yes, RIM makes killer hardware, solid designs and great screens but on the software side of things they SUCK! Ok, they do have quite a smooth interface but BBOS hasn't changed in like 4 years. I would really hate to see them go, along with Palm they pretty much pioneered the smartphone.

17. donpeppino9

Posts: 67; Member since: Jan 24, 2010

i hope they get rid of those dumbass ceos running the company. IMO i dont think you need the greatest of hardware to have a great consumer device. All RIM needed to do was fix the BBOS software to allow app storage on larger ROM memory. that way app developers can make the apps higher quality. that is the only thing holding back BB phones i think.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.