BlackBerry hits rock bottom in phone market

BlackBerry Leap back angle full
Blackberry was king of the mountain eons ago, but the Canadian manufacturer just hit rock bottom — with a 0.0 percent market share, according to research firm Gartner’s latest quarterly data.

It’s been a long seven years for BlackBerry, which commanded around 20 percent of the smartphone space by the end of 2009. That percentage fell off a cliff since then, while iOS and Android continued to see growth, to the point where the two mobile operating systems command 99.6 percent — the highest combined percentage we have seen — of the smartphone market.

Because of the record high percentage, BlackBerry has been marginalized to a 0.0 percent, though Windows is not much better — Microsoft’s mobile operating only owns 0.3 percent of the phone space.

That’s not to say BlackBerry did not ship any devices — the company shipped just under 208,000 smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2016. Furthermore, the numbers accounts only for devices that run BlackBerry OS and not Android, an important point given BlackBerry’s shift to the latter.

BlackBerry responded to Gartner’s report and reiterated its focus on software and licensing.

“As has been widely communicated, our current strategy is focused on providing state-of-the-art software and security for enterprise and devices,” the company told GSMArena. “As part of this aggressive pivot to software, we have shifted away from hardware and toward a licensing model where partners develop hardware and distribute and market the BlackBerry brand. We are very excited about the new BlackBerry-branded smartphones that our licensing partners — TCL, BB Merah Putih, and Optiemus — will soon be introducing.”

BlackBerry already licensed its wares to TCL, with the upcoming Mercury the first original design from the partnership.

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