BlackBerry shock: Aussie sales triple

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BlackBerry shock: Aussie sales triple

BlackBerry's sales share has increased in Australia – the only region of nine audited by Kantar WorldPanel where sales didn't fall.

According to the Kantar WorldPanel figures for the three months to September 2013, sales of BlackBerry more than tripled in Australia.

However, the beleaguered Canadian device maker's numbers were still tiny in comparison to market leaders Android and Apple.

The figures showed BlackBerry sales increased by 0.9 points, from 0.4 percent sales share in the quarter ended September 2012 to 1.3 percent in the most recent quarter.

The numbers pale in comparison to iOS, which rose from 25.9 percent to 32.9 percent and Android, which fell from 66.1 percent to 55.3 percent.

Fellow mobile outlier Microsoft also saw some good news in the report, with sales of Windows Phone reaching 9.3 percent for the quarter, a 4.7 point rise year-on-year from 4.6 percent.

[Related: Aussie sales of Windows Phone double as Android sinks]

BlackBerry Australia managing director Matthew Ball told CRN that the upturn in sales had been driven by this year's launches of the BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry Q10, BlackBerry Q5 and BlackBerry Z30.

"Our partners have been instrumental in supporting BlackBerry and achieving new growth for us in Australia. In addition, we have run some innovative channel incentives and promotions such as consumer and fleet trade-up programs, making BlackBerry a premium yet cost-effective solution when upgrading," added Ball.

Local partner Si Partners' chief executive Brian Harris said BlackBerry business was strong: "Last month was a record month and this month is looking good. The team in Australia has a total focus on the future and with money in the bank; other MDM suppliers going for debt financing again. It’s actually all good for us."

Earlier this month, BlackBerry replaced chief executive Thorsten Heins with former Sybase chief executive John Chen after abandoning plans to go private.

BlackBerry Australia's Ball said: "This is the right time for a change and we look forward to rebuilding the company across the next six quarters as John Chen has outlined.

"John Chen is immensely respected in the industry, among peers, by former colleagues – and the whole team at BlackBerry is hungry for success with the news he's coming on board," he added.

Time for change

Analyst JJ Gold was bullish about the impact Chen could have on the company.

"He was chief executive at Sybase during the years it had a major impact, and substantial growth, in the mobile marketplace, and he subsequently sold the company to SAP.

"I'd expect to see some significant redirections at BlackBerry over the next six to 12 months as the new management takes hold and new business priorities and directions emerge.

"John Chen is a no-nonsense CEO who will hold people accountable, and will bring either new growth to the company or position the company to be acquired at a higher premium than it can currently demand," added Gold.

The smartphone maker will need all the help it can get, as its global sales remain uninspiring, according to Kantar.

Except for Australia, BlackBerry's sales share for the September quarter fell in all other regions covered by Kantar: Germany, USA, Great Britain, China, France, Italy, Latin America and Spain.

Its strongest market, Latin America, fell from 14.3 percent to 5.1 percent.

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