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Is BlackBerry still relevant?

BlackBerry Passport
The BlackBerry Passport.


Everyone knows that today, iOS and Android dominate the industry when it comes to smartphones and tablets. It wasn’t that long ago when BlackBerry was a force to be reckoned with, with an army of devoted followers, much the same way that many people are fanatical about Apple today.

But in this modern era where there are basically two industry giants – Apple and Google, is BlackBerry still relevant any more?

BlackBerry hangs on

We’ve just come across some interesting statistics from 51 Degrees that reveal just how well (or not) the Canadian company is doing, as well as some key metrics about penetration and global market share.

Editor’s note: the statistics used in this article here were provided by Chris Bignell, Director of XL Communications Ltd.

Without further ado, here are the stats…

It turns that in the UK, almost 22% of BlackBerry owners use their devices to access the Internet, with the lowest being Germany:

BlackBerry - Where Used Most

You may not be surprised to hear that most BlackBerry devices in use are smartphones (%68) but there are also a surprising amount of the company’s tablets out there:

BlackBerry - Type of Device

The most popular BlackBerry device is the Z10, closely followed by the Q10. There are still some older devices in use, such as the Curve 9320 from back in 2012:

BlackBerry - Most Popular Device

The table below shows the percentage of web requests from each brand of device. Data excludes Apple and Samsung so the total here represents the total minus requests from those devices. BlackBerry has basically remained on around 1.5% over the past year…

BlackBerry - Market Share

Perhaps the most revealing statistic about BlackBerry’s market share is illustrated below, with the obvious peak of around 20% between Q4 2008 and Q4 2009, the golden era for the company when it seemed nothing could stop them…

BlackBerry Global Market Share

Not a lost cause

The data presented above suggests that BlackBerry has hit the lowest point, and there shouldn’t really be any further significant reduction in the number of users assuming that no disastrous management decisions are made.

Lately, the firm has been trying to re-acquire the business and government markets, playing to their security and privacy concerns. It’s a sound strategy, and one that may be BlackBerry’s best hope, as well as leveraging its immense experience in apps and software.

Let’s hope that CEO John Chen can continue his mission to turn the company around, as I’m sure there’s a lot more great devices and software to come out of the company yet. And to answer the initial question of whether BlackBerry is still relevant, in my personal opinion – yes they are, and there’s certain to be a lot of new and innovative devices coming out of the company in future (there’s even rumour of a curved BlackBerry passport).

Update: you can read Ewan’s post on the BlackBerry Passport here.

Mobile Industry Review would like to thank Chris Bignell, Director of XL Communications Ltd for helping us to acquire the data used in this article.


  1. When you write an article about Apple, you don’t show a picture of an original iPod with a black & white display. So why in an article about Blackberry do you show a Torch from 2010 that isn’t even on your own chart of popular Blackberry devices?

  2. To perpetuate the perception that BlackBerry devices are old. What better way to do that than by actually showing an old device! I found it strange as well, given how many new devices have come out since the Torch. He probably searched high and low to find a photo of this relic!

  3. Is there no stock photos of the Passport or Leap or Z30 out there? I work in the industry. Think BB bottomed about a year ago. True they are transforming more into a software company and moving away from consumer focused hardware but I am seeing the new devices everywhere and people who have them love them.

  4. Here we go again. Showing an old BlackBerry device with a completely different operating system in the award winning BB10. Passport, Classic are great devices. Let’s talk about that.

  5. “in the UK, almost 22% of BlackBerry owners use their devices to access the Internet”

    Is this accurate? The chart suggests that 22% of Internet traffic in the UK is from BlackBerry devices, not that only 22% of BlackBerry users access the Internet with them. But both of those interpretations sound questionable to me.

    EDIT: And I can’t find the source of the image on the 51Degrees site.

  6. Unfortunately, I try to use Fotolia when possible to avoid any copyright issues and there were very few BlackBerry phone images. I will replace it with a more up-to-date model

  7. As mentioned below I try to use Fotolia where possible, and in fact there were very few BlackBerry phone images. I’ve updated it now. And believe me the intention was definitely not to make them perceived as old…

  8. The document I obtained with the statistics was a little ambiguous about the 22%, in as much as it’s definitely not 22% of UK Internet traffic (almost impossible due to the high penetration of Android and iOS devices), so I took the other interpretation, i.e. 22% of BlackBerry owners user the Internet. It does strike me as low, however. If I can find out any clarification I will post an update.

  9. Thanks for the explanation and for updating the image. As you can see, BlackBerry does still have some fans. The new OS is actually quite good. And I’m typing this reply using my BlackBerry Passport.


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