Hold on a second, is Blackberry growing as fast as Android?

BlackberryThere has been much said about the imminent demise of RIM’s Blackberry in the face of the unstoppable momentum of Android (and previously the iPhone). But here’s an interesting piece of information: According to data from Statcounter, Blackberry is growing just as fast as Android, at least in terms of global Web usage. Blackberry users have doubled their Web presence in the last 12 months.

So while some recent reports say that Blackberry is falling behind in the mobile race, perhaps that is not the case after all.

Mobile OS market share
Note: The stats from Statcounter are based on global visitor stats from more than 3 million websites. In the graph above we’ve made a small adjustment to the Android numbers for May and June due to a now corrected OS detection error in Statcounter’s software.

If these numbers are any indication, maybe we shouldn’t count RIM out quite yet. True, if you look solely at the US market, Android is gaining on Blackberry, at least in terms of Web usage, and has a larger portion of the pie overall, but that’s just in the United States.

More to come?

With the newest Blackberry OS (version 6) having an improved browser (Webkit based, just like the one in Android and iPhone), it’s possible that we’ll see Blackberry Web usage increase even more over the coming months. It’s interesting, though, that usage has been growing even before the arrival of the new OS and browser. Perhaps the news of Blackberry’s demise have been greatly exaggerated?

Here in Sweden, Blackberry is more or less a no-show, so we’d be interested in hearing what you think is behind this increase in Web usage. Is it that the behavior of RIM’s existing (very large) user base is changing, or simply that many of the reports so far have been misleading?


  1. No, its not. Share of web usage is growing but that shouldn’t be confused with a growing platform. This graph is skewed in the same way the infamous Wired’s “The web is dead” one was. It fails to show that web usage from smartphones is skyrocketing. Also, i don’t know what Statcounter measure system is but Symbian web usage is minimal (terrible browser) so it’s kind of shocking to see that they hold 32%. Makes me think this is not as representative as it should.

  2. Angel, Symbian’s browser is not terrible, and besides the default Nokia one you can use Opera Mini or Mobile, Skyfire, Bolt, … making the browsing experience at the same level as the other platforms.

    And while Nokia has a very small usage in the USA, don’t forget that it has the vast majority of the market in developing countries (where many people browse with a smartphone as they can’t buy a PC) and in general in many parts of the world that are not North America.

    Furthermore, many services that use applications on Android and iPhone don’t have any app for Symbian, requiring people to use the browser and adding weight on the stats above.

  3. It’s all about the bandwidth baby! BlackBerry’s data compression enables carriers to put ten BlackBerry devices on the same bandwidth as one Android or iOS device. Carriers will incentiveize the heck out of the Blackberry devices.

  4. Blackberry very popular among young people at the moment: iPhone is unaffordable for them, and yet BB can be got cheaply, maybe this non-business sector (with accompanying heavy bandwidth usage) is the source of growth…

  5. At today’s Blackberry DEV keynote, they claimed the last quarter was BB’s best ever. That sounds good but best quarter ever came in large part from carriers going DEEP into the buy one-get one free incentive bin. A more fair comparison would be how much revenue is being seen from handset sales.

    Eg: An iPhone or Android handset sells for $199 versus two BBs for $49. The math is a disaster for BB.

  6. Interesting that Symbian’s web usage is _also_ growing at a similar rate to Blackberry and Android!

    That’s the real headline out of this post!

  7. I can speak from my experience in SE Asia. BB is killing it. Even schoolkids are using BB. The hook is the BB Messenger. Once your friends uses BB, you have an incentive to get a BB so you can chat with other BB friends. Don’t tell them you can do the same with Y! Messenger or Gtalk. It’s just easier when your ID is tied to your device PIN, and the client comes with the phone.

    Also carriers are offering cheap pay-as-you-go Internet access, starting with just BB Messenger functionality at USD$0.25 (yes, a quarter) a day, all the way up to full BIS functionality (emails, browsing, FB, Twitter, etc.) at USD$30 a month.

  8. In Croatia it seems still to be perceived as the “business”platform, has some geeks hanging on it, but Android appears to be coolest at the moment. I switched from BB to iPhone myself and am a business user. However, it seems on the downward spiral overall.

  9. BlackBerry user base is now growing rapidly in Indonesia.
    I think it will take Nokia’s position in a couple year.

    US$ 8 per month for full BIS service, I think it’s very attractive for users here.

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