by Al Sacco

D’oh Canada! iPhone Tops BlackBerry Shipments in Canada for First Time

Mar 22, 20122 mins
iPhoneMobileSmall and Medium Business

The bad news just keeps on coming for RIM and BlackBerry. Apple's iPhone is now the top smartphone in RIM's home country of Canada based on 2011 shipments, bumping BlackBerry from the top spot for the first time.

It was only a matter of time, given the mindboggling popularity of Apple’s iPhone, but this news still has to sting for Canada’s own Research In Motion (RIM), maker of BlackBerry products: For the first time, the iPhone topped smartphone shipments in RIM’s motherland, bumping BlackBerry from the top slot, according to new research from IDC and Bloomberg.


Apple shipped some 2.85 million iPhone handsets in 2011, compared to roughly 2.08 BlackBerrys shipped by RIM last year, IDC and Bloomberg report. In 2010, RIM shipped about a half million more handhelds in Canada than Apple, according to the research.

It needs to be said that “smartphone shipments” is a somewhat misleading term, since it doesn’t actually mean that 2.85 million Canadians purchased iPhones in 2011 or that 2.08 Canadian citizens bought BlackBerrys. Instead, these numbers suggest that Apple and RIM shipped these numbers of devices to distributors or retailers, even though many of the handhelds may still be sitting on store shelves or in other storage areas.

Regardless, the fact that Canadian smartphone sellers procured more iPhones than BlackBerrys for the first time since the first BlackBerry smartphone was released in the early 2000s is telling, even if all of those devices haven’t actually made it into the hands of buyers quite yet, because it means they estimated the demand for iPhones to be higher than the demand for BlackBerrys.

The iPhone was also the leading smartphone maker in the United States in 2011, according to recent research from Gartner.

And in the fourth quarter of last year “Apple [in the United States] not only broke its own sales and financial records and bested the financial performances of technology companies throughout history, but also smashed the record for the most smart phones shipped globally in a single quarter by a single vendor. The 37.0 million iPhones shipped in Q4 beat the previous record of 28.3 million devices shipped by Nokia in Q4 2010. The huge volume of iPhones also exceeded the size of the entire market of four years ago, when a total of 35.5 million smart phones shipped globally,” according to a release from market analysis firm, Canalys.

The Apple juggernaut rolls on. And the year 2012 could very likely be another tough one for BlackBerry, especially since the next generation BlackBerry 10 software and handhelds aren’t expected until the end of the year or early 2013. There are, however, a few good reasons to remain upbeat about RIM.