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Apple overtakes BlackBerry on RIM's home turf of Canada

March 23, 2012|By Andrea Chang
  • BlackBerry Messenger on a BlackBerry smartphone from Research In Motion.
BlackBerry Messenger on a BlackBerry smartphone from Research In Motion. (Oliver Lang / Associated…)

Canadians are shifting their preference to another fruit, er, smartphone.

Apple’s iPhone has taken over Research in Motion’s BlackBerry in Canada, a blow to Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM. The company shipped 2.08 million BlackBerrys last year in Canada compared with 2.85 million units for Apple, according to data compiled by IDC and Bloomberg.

In 2010, BlackBerry topped the iPhone by half a million. In 2008, the year after the iPhone made its debut, RIM outsold Apple by almost five to one, Bloomberg said.

BlackBerry has struggled for several quarters as iPhone and Android devices have grabbed more market share.

In January RIM named a new chief executive, Thorsten Heins, who launched an aggressive marketing campaign to revive the brand. But analysts say they’ve yet to see substantial improvement.

“Overall, RIM remains under a challenging transition period,” Barclays Capital analyst Jeff Kvaal wrote in a note to investors Friday, calling demand in North America "mediocre at best."

“The situation at RIM is likely to get worse before it gets better and management is likely to face another challenging quarter,” he said.

The company is poised to launch is BlackBerry 10 operating system this fall.

Shares of RIM fell 2% to $13.78 Thursday. The company's stock is down 11% year to date.

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