BlackBerry's share of the smartphone market keeps shrinking and is quickly vanishing, according to IDC.
BlackBerry's global shipments are projected to fall almost 50 percent this year to about 9.7 million smartphones, according to a new forecast by the research firm. BlackBerry's worldwide market share will slide to 0.8 percent in 2014 and may slip to 0.3 percent by 2018, IDC said. The company's operating system accounted for 1.9 percent of the market in 2013.
"The question of whether BlackBerry can survive continues to surface," IDC said in the statement. "And with expectations that share will fall below 1 percent in 2014, the only way the company will be viable is likely through a niche approach based on its security assets."
Blackberry CEO John Chen is trying to reduce the company's dependence on the smartphones and instead rely on business customers and fresh revenue streams from its QNX software and BBM instant-messaging services.
Google's Android operating system is expected to continue to dominate with 80.2 percent of the global market this year. Android's share will dip to 77.6 percent in 2018, IDC estimated.
Microsoft's Windows phones are projected to increase market share from 2014 to 2018, rising to 6.4 percent from 3.5 percent, according to IDC.
Apple's iOS operating system will account for 13.7 percent of the market in 2018, down from 14.8 percent this year.
IDC estimates that total smartphone shipments will reach a total of 1.2 billion units in 2014, marking a 23.1% increase from the 1.0 billion units shipped in 2013. From there, total volumes will reach 1.8 billion units in 2018, resulting in a 12.3% compound annual growth rate from 2013?2018.