BlackBerry Sales Lost Ground to iPhone & Pre in June: I Predict BB Will Rebound Soon-Keyboards Rule

Based on June smartphone sales figures, an analyst quoted by ZDNet concluded that…

Analyst: iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre gang up on BlackBerry sales

The conclusion drawn is that Palm Pre ate away at BlackBerry Curve sales among Sprint customers while the iPhone 3GS took sales away from AT&T’s BlackBerry models. The $99 iPhone 3G (2008 model without video recording features) is said to be putting the squeeze play on AT&T BlackBerry sales from the low-end while the new 3GS models take the high-end.

My own take is that June sales are what they were because people were excited about the hype around both the Palm Pre (Sprint) and iPhone 3GS (AT&T). My gut instinct is that email-centric people really want an instant access keyboard phone. The iPhone doesn’t provide any kind of physical keyboard and the Palm Pre requires the user to pull out the keyboard to use it. Having used several smartphones that have great keyboards that needed to be pulled out, I found that this seemingly small task can be annoying and tiresome when done many times a day. Phones like most BlackBerry models (except the Storm), the old Palm Treo and T-Mobile Dash with fixed keyboards are far more convenient for text-entry-centric tasks.

My guess is that BlackBerry sales will recover if not actually rebound over the next few months, iPhone 3GS sales will continue on their amazing upward path and that the Palm Pre will achieve some flat but stable sales level remaining a more-or-less niche product like many Windows Mobile smartphones. The real wild card are the emerging Android-based phones.