Treo Gaining in Popularity Over BlackBerry
A new marketing research report has been released that measures consumer sentiment in the smartphone market. The report looks at brand loyalty and online popularity of Palm Treo, Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry, HP iPAQ and Motorola Q devices.
Brandimensions searched over 150 million Internet sites and analyzed relevant consumer comments posted online between April 2005 and February 2006, specific to the smartphone market. The results conclude that while BlackBerry has the largest market share in this segment, it lacks a strong brand loyalty among its customers. Overall, consumers felt that Treo was a superior device compared to BlackBerry, citing greater functionality including camera and video playback.
To produce the report, Brandimensions captured online discussion and sentiment generated by users of the most talked about smartphones, using its proprietary technology engine that has mapped smartphone social networks on the Internet.
Key findings in the report:
- While BlackBerry is the market share leader in the smartphone segment, websites devoted to Treo generate more discussion and are larger than their BlackBerry counterparts.
- Overall, the total impact of the RIM lawsuit on the BlackBerry brand appears to be small -- however, people believe that RIM mishandled the lawsuit.
- Consumer sentiment is higher for Treo, posing a threat to the BlackBerry brand, which ranked last in consumer sentiment. This indicates that users may be more inclined to use Treo, especially with the potential Blackberry service shutting down.
- While it generated a small portion of discussion, HP's iPAQ is a favorite among its users as well as among general users, due in large part to IPAQ's Wi-Fi capability -- a feature that other smartphones may not have.
- The Motorola Q generated the least amount of buzz but was perceived very well by consumers as a result of its styling. Given Motorola's presence in the wireless communications market, the Q could present a threat to both BlackBerry and Treo.
"Over the past six months, BlackBerry has been a hot topic among business users, investors and the media. As the smartphone market continues to grow, it is critical that manufacturers are able to establish band loyalty with their customers," said Bradley Silver, CEO of Brandimensions. "Today's report highlights how online market research can provide new insights into the smartphone market and identify opportunities for manufacturers to capture market share while improving brand awareness."