BlackBerry Maker RIM Gets Routed in Canada by iPhone

Canada-based Research in Motion has lost its homeland in the ongoing smartphone battle with the likes of Apple’s iPhone.

According to the latest data released by IDC, RIM shipped only 2.08 million BlackBerrys in 2011 inside of Canada. Apple shipped 2.85 million iPhones.

This development marks the first time Apple has trumped RIM in the smartphone race in RIM’s native Canada. And, once again, it points to ongoing struggles for the BlackBerry maker that show no signs of relenting.

“For RIM, in its home market, to lose that No. 1 position to iPhone is strategically important,” Paul Taylor, a fund manager at BMO Harris Private Banking in Toronto, tells Bloomberg. “It does identify, even with a home-country bias, how consumers are responding to the greater functionality of the iPhone.”

Still, many of Canada’s banks and the federal government remain loyal to RIM devices. Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s largest bank, only issues BlackBerrys, said Katherine Gay, a spokeswoman for the Toronto-based bank.

RIM, which will report fourth-quarter earnings on March 29th, has seen its shares fall 90 percent from its mid-2008 record high.