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Summary:

Six months of U.S. smartphone market share data neatly underscores why Research in Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) is scrambling to get new products out…

Blackberry 7

Six months of U.S. smartphone market share data neatly underscores why Research in Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) is scrambling to get new products out the door: it has tumbled all the way to the third-most prevalent mobile operating system in the U.S. despite commanding a sizable lead in late 2010.

Comscore’s latest market-share numbers emerged Friday, and they paint a grim picture for RIM and its flagship BlackBerry smartphone. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) long ago surpassed RIM to become the leading mobile operating system in the U.S., but RIM has now even fallen behind Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) without Apple having released a significant new phone since the launch of the iPhone 4 last summer. Apple’s edge is quite slight, but it seems likely to expand given that RIM has lost nearly 8 points of share over the last six months, and RIM’s latest BlackBerry 7 phones aren’t scheduled to arrive until “this summer.”

Last month RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie admitted that an “aging” product lineup was hurting the company, especially at the high end of the smartphone market. It’s unclear whether the two new BlackBerry Bold phones will be enough to halt the aging process: phones running RIM’s new QNX software aren’t expected until early 2012 at best.

The numbers also aren’t good for Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), which has failed to make any noticeable gains now that Windows Phone 7 has been out for about six months. It certainly takes time to build momentum around a new operating system: Android didn’t really hit its stride until a year after it was first released. But the company needs to start generating gains if it wants to play at the big table, which could come along with the first Nokia (NYSE: NOK) handsets, the Mango system update, and the natural boost that comes along with the holiday shopping season.

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  1. R.I.P. RIM

    1. will earn $2.5 billion this year

  2. iPhone began life with a big bang with never ending popularity with sales limited only by the ability to supply enough quantities. Motorola then Samsung provided volume and quality superior to Rim in successfully taking Rim customers away for good. It takes time but Android is now firmly entrenched as the Rim killer burying Rim in rapid manners.

    iPhone remains the premium smartphone of the world. Apple maintains the golden standard as Rim fizzles out silently in the insignificant offshore markets.

    1. RIM will produce good profits in Q1 inspite of their decline on US market share, they are growing at a large pace in other parts of the world. In fact sales from the US were only 40% of their total. Whether they are number 1, 2, or 3 in the world is irrelevant what matter is future profits, and with the smartphone growing at a great rate so will RIm’s profit

      1. And the stock will continue to tank.

  3. Supply will outpace demand for smartphones led by Android, soon enough by Microsoft / Nokia, and then HP. There are over 20 world class Android vendors led by HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Wahwei, Sony, LG, etc. each of whom can singlehandedly supply hundreds of millions of top notch smartphones far cheaper and superior to anything Rim can ever offer. Apple will always strive to capture the 55%+ profit market segment unwilling to become a mass commodity merchandise. Apple’s sweet spot is 27.5%, no more.

    The Asian brands like Samsung, LG, HTC will overrun Rim. Anyone seen any RCA lately?

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