02/22/2013 01:15 EST | Updated 02/22/2013 01:16 EST

Smartphone Market Share Canada: BlackBerry Still Fading As Samsung Nips At Apple's Heels


BlackBerry’s market share in Canada continued on a downward path in January, though buzz about its new Z10 phones helped to draw some Canadians’ attention back to the struggling brand, a new poll from Ipsos-Reid finds.

BlackBerry had 23 per cent of Canada’s smartphone market in January of 2013, according to the poll, tying the brand for second place with Samsung.

The most popular brand in the survey was Apple’s iPhone, which has seen its market share grow steadily to 32 per cent.

Just two years ago, BlackBerry was on top in Canada, controlling 41 per cent of the smartphone market. The iPhone had 23 per cent of the market at the time.

But the more impressive story may belong to Samsung, which has seen the popularity of its Galaxy and Nexus phone lines grow from a mere nine per cent of the market in January of 2011 to its current 23 per cent.

This is fantastic news for Samsung as they continue to build their brand and take a real shot at giving Apple a run for its money,” Ipsos-Reid senior vice president Mary Beth Barbour said in a statement.

One bright spot for BlackBerry in the data is in consumers’ plans for future smartphones. Thirty-four per cent of respondents said they were considering buying a BlackBerry, up from 29 per cent last August.

However, the challenge posed by the increasingly popular Samsung cannot be disregarded, as nearly one-half (48 per cent) of Canadians in the market for a Smartphone are considering that brand,” Ipsos-Reid noted in a press release.

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Overall, the survey found Canada is nearly a “smartphone majority” country, with 47 per cent of residents using one of the devices. That puts Canada somewhat behind the U.S., where a Nielsen survey last summer found the U.S. is already smartphone majority country, with 55.5. per cent of the population owning one of the devices.

BlackBerry’s market share numbers may have been hurt by consumers holding off on buying new phones as they awaited the release of the BlackBerry Z10, which was unveiled at the end of January.

With the phone on sale in Canada for just a few weeks at this point, there is no data yet on sales. But according to Google Trends research carried out by the tech blog, interest in BlackBerry has been strong recently in the regional markets where the brand has stayed strong — Canada, India, Indonesia, and South Africa, among others — but interest generally across the world hasn’t materialized.

“But alarmingly, the United States, Brazil, Spain and Germany looked ice cold in comparison,” BGR reported.

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