BlackBerry market share crashes below two per cent

BlackBerry CEO insists company is in it for the long haul, as market share slumps dramatically.

Beleaguered mobile maker BlackBerry has seen its market share sink to 1.8 per cent, as it looks to fight back from another turbulent year.

Having had 5.2 per cent of the mobile OS market in the third quarter of 2012, it saw a significant decline in the same period this year, Gartner figures showed.

Meanwhile, Android only grew its share, rising from 72.6 per cent to 81.9 per cent, with Samsung maintaining its dominance over other device makers.

Microsoft was the biggest winner of the quarter, according to the market watcher, as its mobile OS share grew from 2.3 per cent to 3.6 per cent, leapfrogging BlackBerry.

The firm has been in flux over the last month, having abandoned plans to sell itself to its largest shareholder Fairfax Holdings for $4.7 billion (2.95 billion) and its chief executive Thorsten Heins also stepped down. Instead, the company will enjoy fresh financing, including $250 million from Fairfax, as it looks to become a force in the mobile industry again.

BlackBerry said it had no comment on the decline in market share.

But interim CEO John Chen has attempted to rally the troops, with an open letter telling people the company is in it for the long haul and has the financial clout to stick it out.

"I know there has been a lot said about BlackBerry, but let me remind you that at BlackBerry, we are not dwelling on the past. We are looking towards the future," Chen said.

"We have begun moving the company to embrace a multi-platform, BYOD world by adopting a new mobility management platform and a new device strategy. We are also leveraging our tremendous assets, including BBM, our network and QNX. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know there is more work to be done.

"I know that it's going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim BlackBerry's success and we are ready for that challenge."

Apple investors might also be somewhat perturbed by the Gartner figures. Its share in the device segment fell from 14.3 per cent to 12.1 per cent. That was despite smartphone sales reaching 30.3 million units in the third quarter of 2013, up 23.2 per cent.

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