Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry, the telephone and e-mail device carried by Wall Street bankers and Washington politicians, scored lower than Palm Inc.’s Treo in a survey of customer satisfaction.
Treo won a rating of 3.61 out of 5 for satisfaction, while BlackBerry had a 3.31, according to Brandimensions, a researcher that scoured almost 100 Internet forums, Web logs and discussion boards to assess the product’s “buzz.” The company is known for surveys of consumer reaction to products such as TiVo Inc.’s digital video recorder and the Academy Awards.
The survey may signal trouble for Research In Motion. Palm sold 602,000 Treos last quarter, almost as many as Research In Motion’s 645,000 BlackBerrys. In the previous quarter, there was a 150,000-unit gap. FTN Midwest Research said this week that Research In Motion’s share of the market for handheld communicators may drop to 50 percent from 71 percent by 2010.
“BlackBerry seems to be lagging behind,” said Mark De Paoli, the author of a report by Mississauga, Ontario-based Brandimensions. “When people are out there with their Treo, they’re often in an office where nine out of 10 people have a BlackBerry, so they feel a sense of pride in it.”