Report: BlackBerry losing sales to Nokia Lumia devices in Australia, paints a bleak picture for the struggling Canadian manufacturer

Heading into the last quarter in 2013, it is becoming increasingly clear that Windows Phone is now solidifying itself as the third alternative for smartphones (see the latest IDC report). While sales are still miles behind iOS and Android, Windows Phone as a platform is finally being treated more equally by retailers and consumers.

Part of that apparent victory, in typical Microsoft fashion, is due to missteps by Redmond’s competitors. Years ago, BlackBerry (then called RIM) basically owned the enterprise market. Fast forward to 2013 and with BlackBerry 10 on the market with a handful of new devices, it’s becoming clear that it’s just not enough to regain that momentum.

The site IT Wire has performed some store-checks for the new BlackBerry Q10 and Z10—two devices we actually own and occasionally use ourselves. The site tried to get a statement from Australia’s telco’s Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone but received no comment about those BlackBerry sales. Not hindered, IT Wire then spoke with Harvey Norman, Optus and Telstra franchises for their opinions on BlackBerry’s prospects.

The answers were interesting not because almost everyone has reported slow to no sales of BlackBerry devices but because Windows Phone, specifically the lower cost Lumias, are evidently what shoppers are looking for instead. A Telstra franchisee reported this to IT Wire:

“We don’t get a lot of large corporate clients (100+ handsets) but we do have quite a lot of 20-100 handset clients because of our location. They have not been buying the Z10 or Q10. Or the iPhone either because of the rumoured new models. When a contract is up - as so many BlackBerry contracts are - Windows Phones are very popular as replacements. We cannot sell Android into corporates”.

Likewise, an Optus store stated that “corporate buyers preferred the entry level Nokia Lumia 520 for staff and the 625 (4G, 4.7”) for executives.”

Nokia versus BlackBerry

Granted, a handful of store checks and franchisee owners does not equal a definitive account of BlackBerry versus Windows Phone, but this trend of customers preferring the latter over the former is becoming more frequent.

Indeed, Nokia has been forthright about going after enterprise more and more with their Lumia line and the effect, combined with only mildly interesting hardware from BlackBerry, has resulted in their slow but steady ascension. A high profile example would be UK vendor Britvic dumping BlackBerry in favor or Nokia’s Lumia offerings or a similar report about Germany’s O2.

While it’s a shame that BlackBerry, who is now considering various options including selling the company, appears to be on the ropes, we always knew that carriers (and increasingly consumers) were not very open to four options for mobile OSs. BlackBerry still has a lot of valuable patents and some creative talent on board, but if these reports keep favoring Windows Phone, BlackBerry’s future is not looking positive at all.

Source: IT Wire; Thanks, Nishy, for the tip

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Q3!!! 
  • Q3 wat ??
  • I think he meant the blackberry Q3, a hypothetical low end blackberry.
  • Yes i know Daniel keeps deleting comments
  • I was actually referencing Nokia's third quarter which is expected to be a blast. Positive cash flow is expected. My comment however was deleted.
  • Looking forward to that Nokia Q3 earnings report.
    I've become quite the Nokia fan.  They are bringing such serious mojo to the WP table.  And the 520/521 has been pure genius, showing the market that WP can run butter smooth on budget hardware like nothing else out there right now.
  • Every BB is a low end BB
  • So true xD
  • +1520
  • Go Nokia
  • Blackberry is not relevant anymore hope Nokia crushes them :) and make some money in the process :D
  • Didn't Sam tell you the other day to stop double commenting like that❔ You know you read Sam's reply to you... What's your problem dude❔ We want to be friends with you, but you make it tough.
  • Speak for yourself.
  • One word to express my feelings: Schadenfreude
  • Agreed. As supporters of an underdog platform it doesn't really befit us. It's a bit like two men on a frozen lake. One is laughing at the other that's fallen down.
    Let's keep working forward and let the other platforms sling the mud.
  • I'm not sure reporting on the state of sales and competition constitutes "slinging mud". 
  • The article's fine. I'm referring to a few of the comments here.
  • Noted :)
  • This is OK reporting. So long as you maintain a higher standard than, say, iMore, all should be well.
  • iMore is like the worst fanboy sugar-coat-everything site. I own an iPad but that site is just too much!
  • Says a fanboy from WPcentral. 
    Is today World hypocrisy day??
  • I agree... I actually feel bad for BB.. Not to be funny, but if BB does fall down then maybe some of that BB talent can be hired onto the WP team, or be hired by Nokia...
  • Are you german? do you mean Bad friend? I say Schade when something goes wrong in a unlucky way.
  • Their is no english equivalent for the german word "Schadenfreude". I've seen it used on U.S. cable television more than once, I assume for that reason.
    It means "to take pleasure in someone else's plight".
    The literal translation of the individual words would be:
    Schaden = Harm/Damage
    Freude = Joy/Delight
    But as you can see that literal translation doesn't match its actual meaning.
  • And yes i agree especially when the new bandit will be released. :P
  • oh gawd deadberry apologetics in 3...2....1
  • Lol :P
  • Their not dead yet, and we don't know what they have planned, or what the future holds... We don't want to start sounding like iDroid fans when WP came out.. Some of the more intelligent ones have their feet in their mouths right now..
  • I love the burst of flavour in recent times in regard to the mobile phone market and the competition.
    With firefox OS, sailfish OS and Tizen entering the market soon, we'll be spectators to an even greater showcase of mobile capability. After all, the competition is good for consumers :)
  • Lol wat ?? Totally off topic xD
  • Or, we'll be spectators to an even greater showcase of mobile fragmentation and security holes. Honestly, what's going to do Android in is not its competition, but the fact that companies will start forking off their own flavors of the OS and fragment the user base like Linux on the PC.
  • It's no different in my store here in the US. We only just recently sold a BBZ10, and still haven't gone through our launch stock of 5. I think our buyers are still burned over BB7 and Playbook.
  • 95% of your buyers couldn't tell you what bb7, or playbook is.. They are just sheep, and are interested in only what's popular which is GS devices, and iPhones... You could show the majority of them a NL1020, show them the start screen, and tell them it's running the latest version of Android, and they would believe you.. You should try it sometime just to see what they say... LOL❕
  • +1000
  • Isn't the Lumia 625 a 4.7" phone?
  • Yeah, corrected their quote. Thanks.
  • One of the biggest problems with BB10 is the price, and due to the requirements of the OS it is hard for them to sell cheap devices with lower specs
  • Yeah,, that Z10 was relatively horrible on the hardware side.. It doesn't even have a finished look, and feel to it, and they wanted $199 on contract❔... Plus it looks like a cheap iPhone clone, and I'm not saying this just to be a hater,, but its true... I was actually rooting for BB, but it's hard to feel bad for them when their efforts are so lackluster.
  • My Z10 has pretty much the same specs as my Lumia 925. Lower specs?
  • If WP gets security as tight as BB, I would love to see my company go to WP for enterprise. We deal with sensitive PII, so we can't leave the security provided by BB :-(
  • Guess you'll have to soon...
  • Why do you say this??
  • Part of the reason BB is so big in enterprise, is because its the most secure. Companies pay premium money because of their servers that are used. Its not the OS itself necessarily, but the backend servers BB uses and sells to enterprise customers . The other reason is because people were afraid to leave the physical keyboards, but mostly security.
  • Secure? The NSA hacks everything, then gives the information to who they want.
  • Well, if BB DO go out of business one can't get new handsets and the existing ones won't last forever
  • Daniel you have plenty time in your life , that u really delete comments lol thats so funny.
  • Only when someone posts "OMG, you suck it!!!!" 15 times, spams us with "First!" or attacks the writers. I'm tired of this juvenile nonsense. Comments are for discussion of the topic by adults. It's a privilege, not a right.  ;)
  • Daniel, you just posted OMG!! and more... ;)
  • Agreed. Sure, don't delete every comment, especially funny (Not stupid, but funny) ones, but WPCentral could use more maturity.
  • When you think about the mindless "only Nokia" attitude (don't get me wrong I love them), and the inability to talk about the merits of anything non WP without being designated a troll, I think I agree... We could use more maturity ^^
  • Good to hear :)
  • I'll try to be more mature,, but I can't promise anything.. I know that I contribute quality comments for the most part, so I feel as though I can go off the deep end from time to time... Heck, from time to time I have to moderate some of these bozo's myself.. Like that dude Mroofienblockm.. He's walking a thin line with me❕ That crazy stunt he pulled the other day topped the cake. I can be a idiot at times, but this guy has lost his mind... I know he's on somebody's hot list..
  • BB should be ashamed of themselves, they thought they can control enterprise, but when the consumer market is merging with enterprise, essentially the market is becoming the same as more companies go BYOD.  If consumers dont want BBs anymore, then BB will continue to lose market share in enterprise.   It is a dated tech and according to my companies experience, bb10 very confusing. 
    BB doesnt have much left, people continue to think consumers want a physical keyboard, they are some that do, but it is clear the mass market isn't really looking for physical keyboard.  The small niche market that are isn't big enought of sustain thye company and to think people would buy a q10 at 199?  a bit delusional. 
  • Discovery in BB10 is certainly not's a confusing OS. Once you know it, it's powerful. But it's just not flashy enough for the consumer market. I give BB credit for knocking a whole OS and new hardware out in 18 months--they are a small company. But it's just not enough.
  • Why bother trying to learn a confusing OS when you can do just as much and catch on quicker with an android/iphone/windows phone.  
    That is what our president thinks and a few other users that got ATT demos of q10s think . Our users are long time BB users, and we are doing a roll out of upgrades of 650 phones, out of like 50 that i've sent request, no BB10 orders.  Just to give people an idea of our demographic, we 400 bb devices out of the 650 devices int he company, after i go through all the upgrades, i dont think we will hit 50 bb10 orders.  They all want s4s now, even the iphone users. 
    My company is just one example, but i dont think it will be too far off from what we see in the mass market.  The phoen isnt compelling enough to switch to and too confusing for those that just want to pick up and play. 
  • I was a blackberry user for 5 years and switched to the 920 while i waited for the new blackberries.  I've been a huge Zune user for years so it was an obvious choice.  It's really hard because i constantly still pull for Blackberry.  I wished Microsoft bought them out and combined several of the features.)  BBM &  notifications are much better on blackberry that frustrate me on windows.
  • Personally, I'd rather see Nokia buy BlackBerry only because I think they'd do more with it.
  • I had never thought of this but now that you mention it I believe that you're right. Nokia wouldn't get distracted by trying to assimilate entire software into all of MS's products and services like MS is doing with Skype.
    Nokia would be much better at focusing on mobile only and making sure to implement features in a way that makes sense.
  • Well something to think about is if elop leaves Nokia for MS position and Nokia adopts android OS because of it maybe then MS can buy out BB? Then they'll have there own phone hardware company and plenty more patents to use up. I dunno. A thought I guess.
  • Nokia is committed to a five year deal with Microsoft for Windows Phone, so that couldn't happen for awhile. 
  • Does that lock elop in for five years too at Nokia? I'd hate for him to leave then have Nokia void the contract because he left.
  • No, though no one knows his contract.
  • MSFT contract was completed in Feb. '11 right? Certainly they will begin negotiations to extend the agreement before the current one expires. Wonder if we'll see Nokia get a little more from Redmond seeing as they've clearly demonstrated their ability to deliver...
  • Completed? The Microsoft-Nokia contract started in 2011, it extends till 2016, so still a lot of time is left and later they can extend the contract too.
  • I think by "completed" he meant "signed" or "initiated". At least that's how I took it.
  • Their contract with MS allows using Android and other os's. It is not about exclusivity with WP, but about supporting WP. The decision not to go with android was made before Elop.
  • I don't think Microsoft need to buy Blackberry to improve notifications, they just need to improve notifications; which hopefully is coming in GDR3. As for BBM - well there's plenty of alternatives to that these days, but considering they've now (almost) ported it to iOS and Android it's not like it's exclusive to BB hardware anymore, so they could as easily port it to WP as well without any input from MS.
    So really I just don't see any need for anyone to buy them now. Amazon I guess if they wanted to move into mobile, or someone like Huawei or ZTE if they wanted to bolster their US & European presence, just like Lenovo did when they bought out IBM's hardware business. But Microsoft or Nokia, what would they gain, a platform with less marketshare than WP; it's just dead weight. Even if they went WP, really would that gain MS anything? They need Samsung, Sony, HTC to take WP serious, BB is lost. And for Nokia, they build better devices than BB and have great engineers, what would they gain from BB?
  • im on the side that notifications will not be in gdr3, at the earliest, it will be in blue next year.  That is my guess based on some of the upgrades for gdr1,2 so far.  There hasn't been anything monumental in terms of features, just some fixes and some additions.  I could be wrong, but i dont recall a full on feature added in the first two updates. 
  • How is Kevin holding up?
  • As long as you don't put that crackberry Kevin onto wpcentral everything will be fine.
  • Blackberry is dead. Move along. Let the crackheads RIP.
  • Not without a fight
  • It would be awesome to see Microsoft buying blackberry..
  • My own experience is by no means definitive, but I've never seen a BlackBerry "in the wild" in Australia. Maybe I hang out in the wrong corporate circles, as it's always IPhone (60% marketshare?), then Android I see most. The only people with WP are people I already know! :P
  • Im sure my dad is waiting for his BB phone to die so he can get a new one and better! haha. he calls it "trash" everytime we talk about it.
    its shocking to see how bad a company can be ran after years of years. now RIM wants BBM in iOS and Android. and it makes me wonder like... How do they want to save the company? being a messenger company like whatsapp or kik?
    but no RIM is lost, BB is bad and not many people would want it over other phones. in this case im glad nokia is benefiting from BB fail.
  • RIM doesn't exist, it's BlackBerry.
  • At least it's not for lack of trying. I've seen in-store displays everywhere here in the US - cell phone stores, malls, airports, Costco... BB has gone all out to get people to buy it. If people don't, at least they did what they could.
  • If you really followed BlackBerry (like I do lol) you would know that BB's marketing is the worst in the biz
  • Maybe it sucks, but I'm just saying it was visible.. whether it sold any phones is another matter altogether.
  • Then it makes it doubly tragic that they planned to expose BB10 everywhere but failed to make an alternate plan in case it failed. They should have developed concurrently and in secret back then a phone running either WP or Android or both. Now it's too, too late to start anew. Heins has been hailed as a good CEO - I don't think he is if he failed to hedge the possible failure of BB10.
  • PALM all over again, how sad...
  • I kind of feel bad for Blackberry. Just like I felt bad for Palm.
  • I would love to have a Blackberry as my second phone! They look so much fun. Android is laggy and iOS boring, but BB looks fun. I hope it'll still be up and running when I'm at the point that I can have two phones.
  • and Window Phone doesn't lag???
    It lags even more than its own way ( Loading......)
    and even Apps lag more than any OS i used till now(specially browsers like UC and Xpress Browser) 
    and one more thing you forget to mention
    WP have no features.
  • I hope daniel deletes your comment. You got like everyhting wrong in it.
    No features?? Fuck off troll
  • No daniel didn't deleted my comment because he know it is true.
    No features means
    -No File manager manager(which is one of the most demanded features (Proof - )
    -No notication centre
    No auto rotate screen on/off
    No way to download video and integrate with video gallery
    List is keep going dude.........and all I heard it is coming in next update. Nothing else
  • Even if WP8 doesn't have all features Android has, it still has features idiot... And my Samsung Ativ S doesn't lag ever. Same for my friend's and girlfriends 920's. So if you have a bad 925, don't fault WP.
  • Read my lips-Wp doesn't lag. My wife's S4 lags so bad it's laughable. Just scrolling through the callers list it skips and stutters. Incredibly bad for a 1.9 GHz quad core..
  • Yeah! I have L925 which lags so much that it even put Galaxy S duos in shame dude... Are u sure that was S$ not Lumia 920.
  • I was happy to turn in my company blackberry this year when we adopted Good and BYOD and now only need to carry my 920. Pretty much everyone is following suit and selecting their ios/droid/wp devices for work usage.
    Informative article. Got a kick out of the line "We cannot sell Android into corporates".
  • I have pushed for WP handsets at my work and was quite surprised to hear the Telstra rep advise against continued use of Blackberry.. needless to say, I've had a big influence in mobile devices and we are now trialing a couple 520 and 925 models.
  • Just last week we stopped ordering BlackBerry. We tested BES10 and BB10 since February and are extremely frustrated. We've decided to switch to Windows Phone 8. We still don't have an MDM solution in place and are using ActiveSync right now. But our rollout is going to be slow. We hope to have a MDM solution in place by late September.
    Unfortunately our carrier is Bell Mobility. They refuse to carry Nokia devices. We're stuck with the Samsung Ativ S. It's a great phone but Samsungs lack of marketing on the device leaves us wondering if we'll be able to buy them much longer. And Bell Mobility has also stopped selling HTC 8X. Their marketing of Windows Phone is extremely lacking and we're thinking of switching our Corporate account to Telus or Rogers because of it.
  • Die, BB! Die. Lol
  • I have both Q10 and the 920. They both have their ups and downs. Was from an Android (very long time). Never warmed up to iOS. Unlike others, even ones from Crackberry, who would like to see each other's platform die, for I don't know what bragging rights, I wish all companies the best. BYOD means freedom for everyone. I like my Lumia because nothing beats the eye candy. But my Lumia is one of those with quick-draining battery. Still love it though. BB is not too shabby either. Both are great!
  • They can wait until the exclusivity contract between Nokia and Microsoft expires. Then the Lumia line will die. And then they can take over this niche. An Android user would say that.
  • Talk about hypocrisy. Hah, I don't think they report much on how Android is selling 10:1 (or is it 20:1) ratio, but they did find time to report on BB. 
    Then in comment section people wishing like BB to die. Such hate-infested fanboyish comment can only be found in WPcentral. Over top of that people claiming iMore is worse fanboy site!! Really??
    For a platform which needed 2 yrs to bypass Bada (a dead platform from very begining) after so much of money being poured by MS and Nokia shouldn't comment on others. 
    Even hypocrites don't act so pathetically. 
  • Tha's Great!! :) Also, this was Expected :) Because, in India, where 3G recharge for 1 GB Data is for Rs. 250, Blackberry (BBM + DATA + Streaming) package comes for Rs. 494. Can you believe it?? Who's gonna use a 2G handset where they are providing costly services ... 3G is very costly in BB! Around 1000 Rs. :/ Please tell me a reason for using Blackberry! BBM? Mail? I've got Whatsapp, mail, apps, big screen, nokia music, xbox, Great Apps :)
    Blackberry is going down because they do not have CEO like Elop ;)
  • The only reason I like WP8 is because it's fresh and different. Android and BB 10 are just iOS clones with a few enhancements that take away fluidity and use ability.  BB offers nothing new, different, or elegant. Their hardware is two years old and nothing cutting edge in materials. 
  • Just hope they dont go into bankruptcy! I want to have a WP8 and a Future BB tablet in the future
  • It may all be over soon but until then its q10 zed10 and 925 only time will tell whoever can get the most high demand apps first will win.
  • That is what happens when you put an idiot in charge of a company,good job Horsten, another few months and Blackberry will get bankrupt.