As iPhone 5 sells in record numbers, RIM's BlackBerry devices fight for shelf space

As the smartphone market continues to evolve into a two-player race between Apple and Google's Android, other players like Microsoft and more specifically RIM are slowly but surely being shoved aside to a greater degree.

As the smartphone market continues to evolve into a two-player race between Apple and Google's Android, other players like Microsoft and more specifically RIM are slowly but surely being shoved aside to a greater degree.

Indeed, RIM's fall from grace has been nothing short of astonishing, and may very well prove to be an important case study which highlights how a disruptive new product can turn a powerhouse tech company into an afterthought in just a few years time.

While RIM is pinning its hopes on BlackBerry 10, there's no denying that the company in the meantime is faltering. Not only do sales continue to drop, but a new report from Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette details how BlackBerry devices aren't even getting the shelf space they've been accustomed to. And it's hard to argue with the logic; after all, if a product isn't selling, why waste valuable shelf space on it. 

Now contrast this with the recently released iPhone 5 which, according to some analysts, may move upwards of 10 million units this weekend alone.

But returning to RIM, Faucette notes in his report, which was obtained by All Things D:

Our sell-through checks in the United States indicate that BlackBerry sales were largely unchanged in August versus July; however, we detected meaningfully lower inventory levels versus a month ago. In terms of sell-through, we believe that current run rates are roughly one-fifth of those we saw in the United States just eight months ago. Further, we found a meaningful number of carrier retail locations which had not sold a single BlackBerry in over a month.

Ouch.

And with the holiday shopping season looming on the horizon, it appears that smartphone buyers will once again be ignoring RIM for the sake of Apple's iPhone and a slew of Android devices.

As for the BlackBerry 10, which will be based on QNX, it's anticipated that devices running RIM's new OS will hit stores in early 2013. And oh yes, said devices will feature a full capacitive touchscreen.

And in case you're wondering what some of these devices might look like, a designer put together a video render of a BlackBerry 10 device based upon leaked images

.

Not bad from an aesthetic point of view, but these days it's all about software - the UI experience and platform-specific app stores. It's sad to see RIM take a dive like it has, but it's hard to believe that RIM's upcoming efforts will be anything but too little too late.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Related:

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey: The results are in