Just a few years ago, Blackberry was synonymous with smartphone. The profits at RIM were plentiful and Blackberry devices were considered the creme de la creme.
And then along came the iPhone and completely turned the smartphone market upside down.
In one swift stroke, Apple redefined the very notion of what a smartphone looked like and how users interacted with the device. Smartphones without touchscreens quickly became undesirable and it wasn’t all that long before RIM’s marketshare began to take a beating. Sure, RIM tried to save face with devices like the Blackberry Storm, but it was too little too late.
Now, in 2011, just 4+ years after the original iPhone was released, the smartphone market has effectively been boiled down to a two platform race. On one side there’s Apple and the iPhone and the other we have Google’s Android OS.
Nowhere to be found is RIM, or Microsoft for that matter. But Microsoft, at the very least, is making a decent attempt at a resurgence with its upcoming line of Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices.
As for RIM? Well, their downward slide continues amidst reports of executive buffoonery and highly publicized service outages and delayed updates.
All that said, the following news isn’t all that surprising.
Gazelle, a company that pays cash for used smartphones, reported today that BlackBerry trade-ins are at an all-time high and have increased upwards of 80% in the last week or so. Hmm, I wonder if the new iPhone 4S has anything to do with that.
Gazelle’s “Chief Gadget Officer’ Anthony Scarsella told CNET that this is “easily the highest volume of BlackBerry trades ever seen period.” That includes a “spike” following this month’s outage. “In the grand scheme of BlackBerry growth over the past month, it can be pretty much entirely attributed to the launch of the iPhone 4S,” Scarsella said.
Also experiencing a significant uptick in tradeins have been Android handsets which have increased by 72% during the past month.
Gazelle says that the majority of Android trade-ins have been on Sprint’s network, which began carrying the iPhone for the first time this month. Users may also be planning ahead for one of the many new Android devices announced in the past few weeks. That includes Motorola’s dual-core 4G LTE Droid Razr smartphone, and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, which were both unveiled within just hours of one another and represent the latest and greatest on Google’s Android platform.
Something tells me that people aren’t trading in their old smartphones to get their hands on the latest and greatest Android devices. The fact that most Android trade-ins have occurred on Sprint’s network speaks volumes.