Now that the Passport has been out for a few months I wanted to take a look at some of the background developer metrics of how I’ve been seeing the Passport user-base grow from my own perspective. As a BlackBerry 10 user and aficionado it’s never a surprise when INSERT DEVELOPER NAME says that they don’t have plans to support BlackBerry 10 because “not enough people use them”. And while I OBVIOUSLY send them a reply saying that they should start using them :P, it’s important to acknowledge that these are businesses and as such it’s metrics like these and others that determine how well a device is supported. This is even more important for the Passport as it does bring a significant departure from you’re conventional screen sizes, and does require developers to put a little more effort into their apps to support it. So let’s take a look at some of the numbers from my end!
My methods are obviously only a small indication of what I’ve been seeing and the data was only pulled from my main app PinGuin, which isn’t necessarily a widely popular app, nor would I say it’s out of the realm of niche. Having said that though, it does support Google Maps and the Native BlackBerry Maps and is able to work in any country around the world. In terms of some of the inherent difficulties in getting a true representative number I used the entire set of downloads as opposed to a sample. The data was cleaned to account for app updates which would increase downloads, and the data was scrubbed as much as possible to avoid double counting users downloading the app twice within the same period (i.e. downloading one version, then downloading an app update to another version). As such, it was assumed that the latest release within that period would be the most accurate as users who would have downloaded an older version would likely update the app to the newest version. My analytics don’t take device pins so it’s not the most sophisticated, but it should serve as a decent look at the overall trend I’ve experienced through these two releases cycles. Take it with a grain of salt, and realize that this is by no means a concrete indication of what Passport sales and uptake are like. So without further ado look below for the results.
I was most interested in two things; the total download share of Passport app downloads and the country share in which those downloads occurred. It was no surprise that previous BlackBerry 10 devices suffered from weak availability and marketing in many countries, especially in the United States, which led to an weak overall performance in the months following the release for the Q10 and Z30. For my analysis I took data from launch dates of the Z30 and Passport until three months afterwards to compare releases. It’s important to note that both devices were sold in the fall period prior to Christmas.
First thing that became apparent with the data I pulled from both release cycles was that the overall numbers were slightly higher for the Passport, but what was even more interesting was where those numbers were coming from. In contrast to the Z30’s strong support in Canada, Italy and the UK, the Passport’s numbers heavily reflected the strong emphasis that BlackBerry placed on the United States and Canada as well as a stronger presence in the other countries list that is a medley of smaller markets around the globe. In terms of which country had the single-most downloads for the Passport it was the United States at approximately 18% of downloads, whereas the Z30’s lead market for downloads was hands-down Canada at 17%.
It gets more interesting when we break down the figures by splitting the downloads by device. The Z30 saw a 4% split in overall downloads, but the Passport saw a 5% split. One must look at these numbers in a slightly different light. The Z30 was really only competing with the Z10, Q10 and Q5 while the overall number of devices out there was relatively low (still within the first year of OS release). The Passport, in contrast, is competing with a much more diverse and robust offering of BlackBerry 10 devices: Z10, Q10, Q5, Porsche**, Z3, and Z30. Not to mention that this is within the second year of those Z10 and Q10 devices being in the wild, which means the overall number of those devices in the market was much greater and statistically means that even though the overall device split of the Passport wasn’t much greater than the Z30, the overall number of Passports out in the market is much larger than the number of Z30s during the same time frame post-release.
It’s just the beginning of 2015 and I’m extremely excited for what’s in store for us this year. While these results are impressive BlackBerry is also a much more diverse company that isn’t just devices. And although it’s important for device sales to pick-up, the company will ultimately be relying on all their offerings, including QNX and BES, to work in harmony with one another and provide that value add over the competition.
For my entire data-set you can access it here: Passport Metrics
What do you think of the results? What have you been seeing through on-the-ground observations in your area?
Tweet me at @ElBranduco to share your thoughts with me