BlackBerry Smartphone Share Stabilizes at About 0.5% Under Chen

BlackBerry Ltd.’s global market share for smartphone operating systems held steady through 2014 as Chief Executive Officer John Chen refocused the company on business users and brought back keyboard-equipped devices.

The company’s share has hovered at about 0.5 percent since Chen took over at the Waterloo, Ontario-based company in November 2013, according to IDC data. BlackBerry shipped 5.8 million handsets in 2014, down 70 percent from the previous year, the research firm said Tuesday in a statement.

Under Chen, BlackBerry is working with Samsung Electronics Co. on mobile device management, plans to generate new revenue from selling software to businesses and governments, and introduced two new phones in 2014’s last four months.

Google Inc.’s Android and Apple Inc.’s iOS systems together have 96 percent of the world market, the IDC data show.

BlackBerry’s global market share slipped to 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter from 0.5 percent in the previous three months and in both the first and second quarters, according to IDC data. Blackberry began selling the Passport in late September.

It may take longer for the Passport and the throwback Classic phone, released in December, to have an effect on BlackBerry’s numbers, said Ramon Llamas, an IDC analyst.

“AT&T here in the U.S. just announced back in January that the Passport’s going to be here,” Llamas said by phone. “Let’s give these devices some time because this is a long race. It’s not a marathon.”

Adam Emery, a BlackBerry spokesman, declined to comment on the IDC report.

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