RIM may have been feeling down following figures published last week which saw it knocked out of the top five mobile phone manufacturers in the world but news today that it was the most popular smartphone brand in the UK last year should cheer them up some.
Figures released by GfK show that in 2010, BlackBerry devices claimed 28.2 percent of the smartphone market in the UK putting it top of the pile. Better news still for the Canadian mobile maker are figures showing that in December of last year BlackBerrys claimed a whopping 36 percent of the smartphone market shipping in excess of half a million units over the festive period.
Breaking down that 36 percent, we can see that it was pre-pay handsets that were the best sellers taking 51.1 percent of the pre-pay market while contract BlackBerrys accounted for 23.3 percent of the bill-pay market. In what seems to be a move away from the typical view of BlackBerrys as a business-orientated device, more and more people are buying the handsets for their social network capabilities especially BlackBerry Messenger which now has 33 million users. BlackBerry also claims to be the number one smartphone platform for Twitter with six million downloads and also number one for Facebook engagements.
RIM's UK head, Stephen Bates said: "December was a record month for us – with around 11 BlackBerrys sold every minute. The strength of sales in 2010 confirms BlackBerry’s leadership position in the UK smartphone market. This is highlighted in particular by our growth in the burgeoning pre-paid market.”
Last week we saw RIM’s road map for 2011 and beyond and its plans for a range of new models as well as the much anticipated launch of the PlayBook. “Looking ahead to 2011, the forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook exemplifies how we are continually striving to anticipate and meet the needs of our ever-expanding customer base with highly innovative products,” Bates added.