After recently hearing John Chen state that BlackBerry requires 10 million device sales annually for the device business to be viable, I got to thinking. Market share has always been the back bone of most platform related arguments. It was clear that when people realized that BlackBerry has actually caught up if not surpassed the competition, the default was “well look at our market share”. Well, it looks like once again the tide is turning. According to this article from Fitch Ratings, both Apple and Samsung are in for global decline.
“Samsung’s and Apple’s global smartphone shipment market share will decline to around 25% and 14%, respectively, by 2015 (2013: 31% and 15%), says Fitch Ratings. The decline will be due largely to rising competition in emerging markets, where lower-priced handset models from local competitors should continue to gain market share at the expense of the big two. In these markets, where cost is relatively more important than global brand strength or cutting-edge technology, competitors’ devices retailing at USD100-300 can offer most of the key features of more expensive phones from Samsung and Apple.”
No where will this be more relevant than in emerging markets such as India and China where according to the article, they will account for over 60% of the global growth.
“India and China together are expected to account for over 60% of growth in smartphone shipment volumes. Local handset makers including China’s Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei and India’s Micromax Informatics are the principal large competitors for Apple and Samsung.”
Too bad Apple..this doesn’t look good for you considering your resent ban from China’s government acceptable device list. But wait, the Iphone 6 is coming. That will save you. Or will it?
“Apple’s next iPhone, rumoured to be launched in September 2014, is likely to have a larger screen, and developments are likely to be incremental rather than revolutionary. We believe that the innovations – which include curved screens and compatible wearable devices – are unlikely to change the trend facing Samsung and Apple.”
So how does all this benefit BlackBerry? I’m sure you noticed they weren’t mentioned in the article. Well the fact of the matter is that BlackBerry is no longer required to rely stricly on handset sales to be profitable. The business has much farther reach with the monitization of BBM plans, QNX, IOT..and so on. And remember, 10 million handsets a year is the magic number. I believe Chen will not only accomplish his goals, but will surpass them and grow the handset market share in time.
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