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Device operating systems

OS Watch: RIM Loses at Home, Braces for Worse

BlackBerry is taking a beating on its home turf and in the stock market as we kick off this week's operating system rundown.

  • Apple invades RIM's home turf: Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is stepping on RIM's toes in its own backyard. According to IDC , RIM shipped 2.08 million BlackBerrys last year in Canada, compared with Apple's 2.85 million iPhones. In Apple's iPhone debut year, 2008, RIM outsold Apple five to one. In 2010, it still managed to beat Apple by half a million, Bloomberg says. (See OS Watch: Verizon Reps Balk at Blackberry 7.)

  • 10 more BlackBerry blows: Losing on its home turf is a symbolic blow to the company, but things may be poised to get even worse -- according to Citibank 's analysis. Some of the reasons Citi Analyst Jim Suva points out include: Its BlackBerry 10 delay will make it miss the important back-to-school buying time; it can't cancel its PlayBook program despite weak sales, since its QNX OS is the future of the company; it's losing carrier support, as well as losing ground to the iPhone and Android; and the enterprise bring-your-own device trend is hurting the one-time corporate king. Time to swoop in, Samsung Corp. ? (See Bad Business for RIM and RIM-Samsung Tie-Up Rumors Won't Die.)

  • AT&T first to offer Ice Cream Sammys: If you own a High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) Vivid on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), your smartphone got a little sweeter this week. The wireless operator announced it would update the Android OS to Ice Cream Sandwich, with more smartphones to follow shortly. This makes AT&T the first wireless operator to issue the new Android overhaul, which has been plagued by a slow release cycle since it was announced in May of last year. (See AT&T Issues Ice Cream Sandwich Updates.)

  • OS musings (shameless plug alert!): Light Reading's Mobile Life Survey had some surprising results when it came to mobile OSs, not least because quite a few old names were still in use by so many. While Apple and Android dominated at 37 percent and 34 percent, respectively, 12 percent of respondents use the BlackBerry OS and 11 percent are still hanging on to Symbian phones. Four percent also own a Windows Phone, which is actually quite impressive given how new the platform is. (See Light Reading's 2012 Mobile Life Survey.)
  • Microsoft plays a phone-swapping game: Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is holding its own Hunger Games (minus the fight to the death), encouraging U.S. consumers to come to its retail stores this weekend and challenge store reps to a Windows Phone speed test. If the consumer's phone, be it an iPhone, BlackBerry or whatever else, wins, he or she gets a Hunger Games Special Edition PC. If Windows Phone loses, consumers still win -- defined by earning the ability to swap their phone for a new Microsoft one.

  • No Angry Birds for Windows Phone: Microsoft's promo game is all well and good, but consumers may be more angry to find out their Windows Phone doesn't support Angry Birds. Peter Vesterbacka, CMO at the game's maker Rovio Mobile Ltd. says it's too technically challenging to support the smaller platform right now. (See Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers .)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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