In a mobile market dominated by Apple's iPhone and Google's stable of Android devices, there's very little room for any more competitors. Microsoft can only muster a couple of percentage points as the distant third-place contender, and everyone else's share is measured in mere fractions. As bad as that was, at least BlackBerry could count itself fourth and see its name on Gartner and IDC's smartphone market share reports.
According to Strategy Analytics today, however, BlackBerry has lost even the fourth spot on the market, having been superseded by Samsung's Tizen smartphones. Tizen OS is Samsung's initiative to construct an operating system of its own, and it's being used on this year's range of Samsung smart TVs, the Gear S2 smarwatch, and a couple of entry-level smartphone models. Those Tizen phones, in all their Android-imitating glory, have apparently proven sufficiently alluring to generate greater sales than BlackBerry is achieving with all of its devices.
From here on, it's Android or bust
The report from Strategy Analytics indicates what we all might have guessed: Microsoft, BlackBerry, and Firefox have all "drifted down" in their market share, while demand for new iPhones has driven Apple up. There's little question, in light of BlackBerry's continuing decline, that the Canadian company had to switch to Android if it was to stand any chance of remaining a player in the mobile market. The Priv smartphone marks that switch, and much rides on its success. Though even if BlackBerry survives as a mobile manufacturer over the long term, its operating system is probably already done. There'll be extended support for all those enterprise clients BlackBerry already has, but the future for this company looks like it's going to be Android or bust.