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Potential for Major Smartphone Share Shifts Seen: Challenges for BlackBerry?

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Potential for Major Smartphone Share Shifts Seen: Challenges for BlackBerry?
March 16, 2010
By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor


Though Research in Motion has maintained its market share among U.S. smartphone owners, there are some indications that significant movement towards Android and iPhone (News - Alert) devices is occurring.

Nearly 40 percent of BlackBerry users continue to prefer Apple’s iPhone as their next smartphone purchase, but a third of them would also switch to the Android operating system, according to Crowd Science. 
About 90 percent of Android and iPhone users say they will stick with those devices when they buy their next devices.
Asked specifically if they’d swap their present phone for Google’s (News - Alert) new Android-based Nexus One, 32 percent of Blackberry users said “yes,” compared with just nine percent of iPhone users. About 60 percent of users of other smartphones said they would opt for an Android device.
These results show that the restlessness of Blackberry users with their current brand hasn’t just been driven by the allure of iPhone,” said John Martin, Crowd Science CEO. “Rather, Blackberry as a brand just isn’t garnering the loyalty seen with other mobile operating systems.”
Among other findings, Crowd Science found that Android users tend to be younger and less affluent than iPhone and BlackBerry (News - Alert) users.
Both Android users and iPhone users were found much more likely than BlackBerry users to use their phones only for personal use. About 32 percent of Android users, some 28 percent of iPhone users and 16 percent of BlackBerry users are strictly 'personal' users. 
About seven percent of BlackBerry users say their phones are used exclusively for business. Only one percent of iPhone and almost none of the Android users said that was the case for them. 
The survey also finds that 44 percent of mobile users have a regular cell phone, not a smartphone.  iPhone users represented 17 percent of the respondents, followed by BlackBerry users (15 percent), Nokia (10 percent), Windows Mobile (four percent), Android (three percent) and Palm (two percent).
Other recent surveys suggest that BlackBerry, iPhone and Android are taking share from other brands, with devices powered by Microsoft (News - Alert) suffering the most. 
BlackBerry’s big challenge is the consumer user, while iPhone and Android have the reverse problem, which is displacing business users. But most users say devices are used for both work and private purposes. Still, the battle for consumer allegiance now is key for BlackBerry and Android. Nobody thinks Apple really can be dislodged. 

Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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