While BlackBerry continues to enjoy stunning adoption rates for its new cross-platform BBM messaging apps, its smartphone business is in free fall. Industry watchers issued their smartphone market estimates this week following Apple’s September-quarter earnings report and according to market research firm ABI Research, BlackBerry’s global smartphone market share is now barely a blip on the radar. ABI says 244 million smartphones shipped during the third quarter this year and Samsung was responsible for 35% of them, or approximately 85.4 million units. Apple’s market share remained flat at 14% according to the firm’s numbers, and shipments of phones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform saw 165% on-year growth in Q3 to account for 4% of the market. Meanwhile, BlackBerry’s global market share reportedly fell to just 1.5%.
“The race for the third ecosystem is clearly favoring Windows Phone with 4% market share, over BlackBerry’s 1.5%, but there remains little opportunity for new market entrants to make a significant impact on Android’s dominance,” said ABI analyst Michael Morgan.
Samsung wasn’t the only Android phone vendor that saw growth in the third quarter, as ABI notes Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi each enjoyed strong channel sales. According to the firm’s estimates, Android now accounts for 80.6% of the global smartphone market — and the landscape is unlikely to change much in the fourth quarter despite strong performance from Apple.
“Even with a record Q4 for the iPhone, Apple is only expected to achieve 18.7% market share which is down from the 22.6% Apple achieved in Q4 2012, due to Android’s growing dominance and the importance of emerging markets,” ABO analyst Nick Spencer said.