BLACKBERRY/

The latest numbers from Gartner, a U.S. technology industry research company, show that despite a seven per cent growth in overall global smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, BlackBerry's share fell to 0.0481 per cent. (Regis Duvignau/Reuters)

A new report suggests BlackBerry, the once dominant player in the global smartphone market, has sunk to less than a percentage point of total worldwide sales. 

The latest numbers from Gartner, a U.S. technology industry research company, show that despite a seven per cent growth in overall global smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, BlackBerry phones running its own operating system (OS) share of that market fell to 0.0481 per cent. 

Apple top of heap

It's a far cry from the Waterloo-based technology company's position at the top of global sales charts eight years ago, a position now being relentlessly jostled over by rivals Samsung and Apple. 

According to Gartner's latest research, Apple now occupies the apogee of global smartphone sales, but just barely.

Gartner said sales of only 256,000 units separate Apple from its number two ranked rival Samsung, in a year that saw total sales of 1.5 billion units. 

2016 fourth quarter smartphone market share (Gartner)
Company Market share %
Apple 17.9
Samsung 17.8
Huawei 9.5
Oppo 6.2
BBK 5.6
BlackBerry OS 0.05
All others 43.1


On the software side, Google's Android operating system dwarfs the rest by taking an 82 per cent market share in the fourth quarter of 2016.

More than 352 million units used the Android platform in the last quarter, including BlackBerry's Priv and DTEK series handsets, which use the Android operating system and are not included in the 207,900 units that Gartner said use BlackBerry's operating system. 

Big gains have been made by the Chinese manufacturer Oppo, which is now the largest selling brand in China and ranked fourth worldwide, Gartner said.