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Why BlackBerry Will Be No. 1 by 2014

November 9, 2009

Pyramid Research just published its Q3 2009 Handset Forecasts, which project a dramatic shake-up in the US market for new handset sales. Our assumptions are based on the dramatic increase in demand for smartphones that has been propelled by US consumers’ love for messaging and mobile Internet-based services on devices with qwerty keyboards, touch screens, HTML browsers, larger screens and sophisticated operating systems.

By our estimates, smartphones will represent 31% of new handsets sold in the US in 2009, up more than double from 15% two years prior. Indeed, market leader Verizon claimed that smartphones represented 40% of its device sales in Q2 2009. We believe that Verizon is the world leader in the sale of BlackBerry devices. Second place AT&T, the world leader in iPhone sales, reported similar success. AT&T sold 4.3m integrated devices in Q3 2009, and 75% were iPhones. At the end of the third quarter, 41.7% of AT&T’s postpaid base had an integrated device, up from 22% in the year-ago period.

According to our forecasts, smartphones will grow to comprise roughly 60% of new handsets sold in 2014. By then, we expect Apple’s exclusive relationship with AT&T to have ceased, which could potentially make the iPhone available to an additional 200m US wireless customers. Today, we estimate that BlackBerry has nearly 50% of the US smartphone market. Assuming competitors Motorola, LG, Samsung and Nokia are able to improve their positioning in this growing segment, we expect BlackBerry’s share of smartphones to decline to 37% — still enough to put RIM at the forefront of the US market with 22% of new handset units sold in 2014.

Exhibit: US market share of new handset unit sales, 2009, 2014

Source: Pyramid Research Q3 2009 Handset Forecasts

— Daniel Locke, Senior Analyst

Related resources:

North America Mobile Handset Forecasts
Mobile Handset Forecast published quarterly
Our Mobile Handset Forecast products provide a complete picture of handset sell-through in the US and Canada. The Excel output includes five years of historical data and five years of market projections for metrics such as total handset sales, handset sales by network technology, new handset sales (by technology, by technology generation, by feature set), smartphone handset sales, vendor market share and handset ASP. We believe our Handset Forecasts are superior because they capture sell-through (units sold to end users) rather than unit shipments (sales from manufacturers to distributors) and rely heavily on our Mobile Demand Forecasts. Moreover, they are based on extensive field research, and a consistent methodology that is applied to all markets.

North America Mobile Data Forecasts
Forecasts published quarterly
Our Mobile Data Forecast products provide complete pictures of demand trends for Canada and the US. The Excel output includes five years of historical data and five years of market projections for metrics such as penetration, mobile subscriptions (by type of package, by operator or MVNO and by network technology), users of specific data services (SMS, music, etc.), MOU, ARPS (by operator, by subscription type, by service, by application) and revenue (by messaging and non-messaging applications). The Forecasts are based on extensive field research and use a consistent methodology, aiming to capture the total spending on mobile data services in each market.

North America Mobile Demand Forecast
Forecasts published quarterly
Our Mobile Demand Forecast products provide complete pictures of demand trends for Canada and the US. The Excel output includes five years of historical data and five years of market projections for metrics such as GDP, mobile penetration, subscriptions (by operator, type of package, technology), ARPS and total mobile service revenue (data and voice). The Forecasts are based on extensive field research and use a consistent methodology across all markets, aiming to capture the total spending, from an end-user perspective, on mobile communication services in each market.



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