Android Continues Its Rise, RIM Its Decline

Earlier today comScore released its "mobiLens" US mobile subscriber data for April. What it shows is the decline of all smartphone platforms except for Google and Apple. RIM is now a full 10 points (according to the comScore survey data) behind Android.

What a dramatic fall for the company that less than a year ago was still the market leader by a considerable margin. Windows (despite Windows Phone) also continues to lose share. However until a Nokia-Windows phone comes out we won't clearly know the operating system's outlook. 

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Below is the same data for September 2010 (9 months ago), with RIM in the lead by 13 percentage points. 

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Like Nokia RIM may be forced to make some dramatic changes to appease shareholders, who will want someone to blame for the decline of the platform and the brand. The perception that RIM is in decline doesn't help the company with developers who increasingly will focus on just iOS and Android. Microsoft is trying to argue that Nokia and it represent a "third ecosystem." However that remains to be seen. 

A weak software/developer ecosystem puts the platform in question at a heavy competitive disadvantage, which is why RIM has conceptually embraced Android apps on its tablet. Independent BlackBerry apps will probably go away at some point and be entirely replaced by Android on RIM devices. 

Next week at Apple's developer conference in San Francisco we'll get some updated "real" numbers (rather than just share projections) about iPhones and iPads sold to date.