As Global Smartphone Market Explodes, RIM’s Share Shrinks

The global smartphone market is growing fast. RIM’s share of the market is doing the opposite.

New data from Gartner reveals that the Waterloo BlackBerry maker’s share is declining. With global smartphone sales at 149 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, the market has grown by nearly 50% in the past year. Yet RIM’s share shrunk by more than 10% since 2010. RIM now owns less than 9% of the worldwide smartphone market.

“RIM’s delay with its BlackBerry 10 platform will further impair its ability to retain users,” Gartner said. “[And] RIM’s biggest challenge is still to expand the developer base around its ecosystem and convince developers to work and innovate with BlackBerry 10.”

Apple, in contrast, had the best fourth quarter, ousting Samsung as the world’s top smartphone seller thanks to amazing iPhone 4S sales. Selling a staggering 35 million iPhones in just three months, Apple’s growth exceeded 120% for the year.

RIM is expected to launch a new mobile platform, BlackBerry 10, alongside more powerful smartphones, later this year.