Woe Canada: RIM falls behind iPhone on home turf

BlackBerry Bold 9700

BlackBerry Bold 9700Given the wider trends, this day was probably inevitable, but it probably doesn’t make it any easier to swallow at Research in Motion. Sales of the interloper from the south, the iPhone, surpassed the BlackBerry in Canada during 2011, a year in which will probably go down as the worst in the company’s history.

There has been little to cheer about for Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM over the last 18 months, but it had at least felt some semblance of support from the citizens of its home country. But with U.S. sales of BlackBerrys cratering amid competition from the iPhone and Android phones–developments that cost co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis their jobs–sales in Canada fell behind the iPhone, according to research from IDC and Bloomberg.

Apple sold 2.85 million iPhones in Canada during 2011, compared to 2.08 million BlackBerrys sold in the country during the year. It’s not hard to imagine why: even hometown pride in a company can’t last forever when key product improvements are repeatedly delayed and RIM continues to fall farther and farther behind the modern concept of mobile computing.

At a certain point, even the diehards are going to buy the better product. RIM’s three-day service outage last year could have been the last straw for many.

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