- The number of Canadian smartphone subscribers increased by 17% in 2012. Thirty-seven percent of Canadian smartphone subs watch TV and/or video on their device; up 21 percentage points year-over-year. Canadians spend more than 41 hours online on the desktop each month; that's second worldwide. They lead the world in terms of number of pageviews and visits per visitor.
comScore, the numbers bear out my anecdote. In Canada, only one in five smartphone subscribers use the Blackberry platform. Google's ( GOOG) Android and Apple's ( AAPL) iOS combine for 75% of the Canadian market at 40% and 35%, respectively.
Canada is not a throwaway market. In the same report, comScore shows that Canadians lead the way in terms of uptake and engagement metrics across platforms:
But, here's the beauty . . . as I articulated earlier this week in Will Microsoft ( MSFT) Fire Ballmer When Blackberry Crushes Windows?, the stars have aligned for RIM. (I call them RIM from the cockles of my heart). From the Maple Leafs analogy, consider the rampant ineptitude of Ballmer and Windows Mobile. If I'm battling to solidify myself as No. 3 to Apple and Android, I would choose Microsoft as my foe any day of the week. Add to the mix, a clearly weakened Apple -- at least from a marketing standpoint -- and a still fragmented Android market and significant opportunity exists for Blackberry to stand out. Remember, Blackberry, through all of the crap they put themselves, Canadians and the world through, has always made good phones. I never questioned the quality of the company's hardware. In fact, I have owned Blackberry smartphones in the past. Marketing has always been the issue since Steve Jobs came along and schooled James Balsillie. Based on what I saw at South by (I am so hip!), Blackberry has part turned the corner and part taken advantage of overall weakness from the competition that once crushed it. No doubt, it's still crushing it from a marketshare standpoint, but I expect that to change . . . first in Canada and then in the U.S. as the Blackberry Z10 goes on sale later this month. Look at it this way, all Blackberry has to do to be considered a minor, but impressive success is pull further away from Windows Phone. I cannot imagine a scenario where that does not happen in 2013. Follow @rocco_thestreet -- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.