BlackBerry smartphones could be entering the mcommerce race

BlackBerry smartphones could be entering the mcommerce race

Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphone once held a firm grasp on the mobile smartphone market. Its success was founded in the business world, where everyone from the executive to the clerk could use the device to check email, maintain communication with the office and perform many of their duties while away from the computer. Over time, however, that allure has faded.

Recent growth of the iPhone and Android-based smartphones are eclipsing the BlackBerry and beginning to push it out of relevance, Internet Retailer reports. The two devices are functional for business, but also include optimization for applications, especially mcommerce programs that allow users to participate in retail transactions through their mobile devices.

Recent statistics from comScore indicate the BlackBerry's market share has fallen to 35.8 percent, with the iPhone ranking second with 24.6 percent of users and Android phones in a close third, with 23.5 percent of the market share. Another study from Nielsen is even more troubling for Research in Motion, finding iPhones with 27.9 percent of the market share, BlackBerry devices at 27.4 percent and Android at 22.7 percent.

While RIM's market share is slipping away, more consumers are becoming excited by mcommerce, applications and other technologies presented primarily by iPhone and Android. Internet Retailer explains the BlackBerry is beginning to lack appeal, as consumers want mobile devices that are fun and useful, not focused primarily on business-related operations.

Christopher Mason, managing director at Branding Brand Communications, a company that develops and deploys mobile applications and websites, told the news source BlackBerry obtains just 6 to 12 percent of the market share on the company's sites and applications, which often focus on consumer and mcommerce content.

Research in Motion recently completed a deal with The Astonishing Tribe, a Swedish company that developed the user interface for Android. This contract could indicate efforts by Research in Motion to expand the BlackBerry to reach out to consumers by developing an interface that would facilitate application use and mcommerce.

Mobile commerce is quickly becoming a significant part of smartphone use, as consumers leverage mobile applications to purchase items or research products they are considering in a physical store. On Cyber Monday, eBay generated significant revenue through mcommerce, bringing year-over-year growth to 146 percent in the industry. To date, eBay has sold $1.5 billion of goods through mcommerce, compared to just $600 million in 2009.