RIM Death Knell?: iPhone Topples BlackBerry-Maker in Native Land

Is Research In Motion, Canada’s once-proud smartphone-maker, going the way of Nortel Networks, which went bankrupt a few years ago and sold itself off in pieces?

That thought will raise its ugly head in media speculation once again now that we’ve learned Apple’s iPhone has beaten BlackBerry in smartphone shipments for the first time in Canada, according to research from IDC and Bloomberg. The pair say RIM, the enterprise-oriented device-maker, shipped slightly more than 2 million BlackBerrys in RIM’s homeland last year, while Apple was approaching 3 million. Just three years ago, BlackBerry was outselling the iPhone five to one.

Much of the rest of the world has been faster to make the switch from BlackBerry to either the iPhone or an Android device, but up until now, Canadian loyalists have stuck with their native brand. Clearly, the allure of big app stores and user-friendly features have won out over customers’ dedication to their home product.

RIM’s new CEO has admitted that something drastic needs to be done. Devices operating on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system are slated to debut later this year, but one wonders if that will be enough to compete with the juggernauts that are leaving the company behind.

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