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If BlackBerry creator Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) wants to recapture a small share of the smartphone market it has lost since 2009, then it must hope that the delay of its new mobile operating system to 2013 is not a company-killing misstep.
In 2009, Research in Motion held 55 percent of the smartphone market, but soon there will be no regions in the world where the dying platform owns the majority market share. In Indonesia, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android now claims 52 percent of the market. Indonesia was once thought to be the market Research in Motion could retain its top market share, but time has shown that no region is immune to the increasingly competitive industry. However, if the new BlackBerry 10 operating system can overcome its legion of problems, it could change the tide of the company’s fortunes
The company reported a dismal fiscal first quarter in June, losing $518 million dollars. Smartphone shipments reached only 7.8 million units during the same period, which was 41 percent less than the prior year. Stagnant sales prove that BlackBerry devices are having trouble appealing to consumers, making the release of the platform’s newest device essential.
Close to 80 million people worldwide still own BlackBerrys. For users in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, the phone holds appeal for the same reason it once attracted North American teenagers: a BBM message is usually cheaper than a cellphone text. But the BlackBerry’s nostalgic cultural appeal in emerging markets cannot stop the global erosion of its market, as Android’s success in Indonesia shows.
BlackBerry 10, rumored to have Siri-like voice control and a touch screen, was what many analysts believe Research in Motion needed to do years ago: build a brand new mobile operating system from the ground up.
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