The primary competitors of the BlackBerry are smartphones running Android and the Apple iPhone. BlackBerry has struggled to compete against both and its market share has plunged since 2011, leading to speculation that it will be unable to survive as an independent going concern. However, it has managed to maintain significant positions in some markets.
Despite market share loss, on a global basis, the number of active BlackBerry users has increased substantially through the years. For example, for the fiscal period during which the Apple iPhone was first released, RIM reported that they had a user base of 10.5 million BlackBerry subscribers. At the end of 2008, when Google Android first hit the market, RIM reported that the number of BlackBerry subscribers had increased to 21 million. Finally, in the quarter ended June 28, 2012, RIM announced that the number of BlackBerry subscribers had reached 78 million globally. After the release of the Apple iPhone 5 in September 2012 RIM CEO Thorsten Heins announced that the current global users is up to 80 million, which sparked a 7% jump in shares.
The global number of active Blackberry users since 2003:Number of BlackBerry Users Globally: As Of: 534,000 March 1, 2003 1,069,000 February 28, 2004 2,510,000 February 26, 2005 4,900,000 March 4, 2006 8,000,000 March 3, 2007 14,000,000 March 1, 2008 25,000,000 February 28, 2009 41,000,000 February 27, 2010 70,000,000 August 27, 2011 77,000,000 March 3, 2012 79,000,000 December 1, 2012