Share of Canadians who want a BlackBerry slips dramatically in survey

The Globe and Mail

A student walks down the steps of Engineering building at the University of Waterloo campus while using his mobile phone in front of the Blackberry maker's Research in Motion building April 18, 2012. (MARK BLINCH/Mark Blinch/Reuters)

An Ipsos Reid survey on the Canadian appetite for mobile devices suggests hometown hero Research in Motion Ltd. has slipped into a three-way tie for mind-share with Apple and Android devices.

Waterloo Ont.-based RIM’s BlackBerry and Apple are still the most favoured brands, according to a study published Thursday by the market research company, but things change when you calculate “buying intention.”

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Ipsos surveyed Canadians three times between January 2011 and January 2012, and found Samsung’s Android phones were a leading factor in the erosion of BlackBerry’s market share.

“Intentions to acquire a BlackBerry have declined by nearly one-third when compared to this time last year,” writes Mary Beth Barbour, Senior Vice President with Ipsos Reid. “Interest in Apple continues on a slight incline, while Android handsets are poised to pick up the lions-share of RIM’s losses, thanks in no small part to Samsung for which purchase intent has increased by 50 per cent over the 12-month period.”

In January 2011, 58 per cent of those surveyed intended to purchase a BlackBerry. A year later only 40 per cent expressed the same intent. In the same time frame, 21 per cent said they wanted to buy a Samsung, with that share rising to 32 per cent in January 2012.

In raw terms, the number of Canadians stating they owned a smartphone grew from 24 per cent in August 2011 to 34 per cent by January 2012. In the same time period tablet ownership grew from 3 per cent to 10 per cent.

The buying intentions for tablets points to an unusual trend for Apple, which virtually owned the category with its iPad one year ago, claiming 78 per cent of the market in January 2011. “Speeding forward to 2012 and the entrance of new competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy and BlackBerry PlayBook, Apple has seen its share slip to 47 per cent,” according to the Ipsos poll.

The findings are based on three surveys (the first in January 2011, the second in August 2011, and the third in January 2012). Each was conducted among approximately 46,000 adult residents of Canada via the Ipsos Opinions Online Panel, one of Ipsos Reid's national online panels.