Research in Motion (RIM) lost the number one smartphone spot in the US years ago and just recently fell from grace in it home country of Canada. In Canada Apple’s iPhone is now the dominant selling device.
The challenge RIM faces is in the retail store similar to Microsoft and Windows Phone. During a recent visit to a Verizon Wireless retail location I saw a cluster of three devices on a wall the BlackBerry Bold 9930, BlackBerry Curve 9370, and Motorola Droid X2. The BlackBerry devices no longer get exclusive retail space, which has impacted sales, and in this image you can see RIM’s devices are grouped with a less expensive Android phone.
The loss of prime retail space has BlackBerry devices sprinkled around the retail store like any dump feature phone. I listened to a parent talk their child into getting a Droid X2 over the BlackBerry options solely based on price.
If this trend in retail locations is not addressed the decline below Windows Phone in the US is going to happen quickly. Microsoft and Nokia have become the exclusive handset for AT&T employees. That level of commit to the platform is something RIM needs when BlackBerry 10 launches.