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RIM Claims Top Spot In UK Market

David Gilbert


RIM Claims Top Spot In UK Market

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.


January 31, 2011, 6:57 pm

Seems like a similar situation to Nokia. Masses of units sold but mostly low end handsets. My mate who works at CPW told me that the 8320 is their bestseller. It's all the kids who snap it up for BBM.

How many Torches have they sold?


January 31, 2011, 7:18 pm

@rav: Exactly, RIM are living off people's perception of the Blackberry as a cool business device for email and messaging (with some recently tacked on social stuff) but who cannot afford an iPhone. As knowledge of Android as a cheaper option to the iPhone spreads RIM will get fewer and fewer of those customers. The latest Canalys report shows Android leaping ahead of everyone, RIM really need their new phones to catch up and leap ahead if they want to stand a chance in this race.


January 31, 2011, 7:29 pm

In my day, mobiles where banned from school...

'...51.1 percent of the pre-pay market'. I now feel old :)


January 31, 2011, 9:03 pm

I have a Blackberry & it does exactly what I need it to do, & at the end of the day that is what a phone is for; to work!

I do not need to spend hundreds of pounds for a load of features that I will never use!

An added bonus is the keyboard which I find so much easier than a touch screen.


January 31, 2011, 9:44 pm

@Chris, shame you didn't have that phone at school, yo might have learnt when to use "where" and "were". :-P

@mark: Sure and a 5 year old Nokia does as well. Everyone has different needs; plenty of people want to "play" on their phones as well as work. So all the apps and games on Android & iOS come in very useful (and indeed on BBs as well, although there's not quite so many there). I agree the keyboard is nice, but then so's the increased screen size & resolution if you are browsing or reading emails. For you it might be a waste of money, for someone else it's worth having; there's no right or wrong, but RIM is slightly behind the curve (no pun intended).


January 31, 2011, 10:53 pm

@HK: Alright, and I'm sure you've never written a typo in your life. Ever.

Be aware your comments are now under close scrutiny, sir... :)


January 31, 2011, 11:21 pm

@Chris: That wasn't a typo, that was a schoolboy grammatical error... I have made one of course, I clearly remember my nursery teacher pointing out I wrote "a elephant" when I was 9 months old. I quickly learnt my lesson and have had flawless English ever since that upsetting day.

That would be the first time someone has bothered to read a comment of mine, let alone put it under close scrutiny. I'll have to point out silly typos more often if it means I finally get some attention!


February 1, 2011, 12:00 am

As a 19 year old, i can tell you that there's a hype around blackberrys (you might have heard 'BB hype' before). Mains reasons are BBM which is relatively cheap and the perception of BB being for business users only. I can't tell you the amount of times i've seen someone new posting on facebook to send their BB pins. Admittedly, i sometimes have the urge to get a BB just because of BBM.


February 1, 2011, 12:23 am


In my day no one had a mobile at school!


I totally agree. Gmail on Android is superb for email and Google Talk has the whole BBM thing covered plus is multiplatform.


February 1, 2011, 12:30 am


Don't TR follow the market info? For some time BB's sales have favoured consumer subscribers over corporate. It's pretty well known that RIM has two core markets - tweens and corporates.

It's also a bit sad that people don't appear to have actually read the Canalys report. Over 12 million Android sales were in the US and Android remains comfortably behind Symbian and sometimes RIM in every other market.


February 1, 2011, 5:19 pm

@HK: Yes it's not technically a typo, but there's often a disparity between what the brain thinks and what the fingers type. I'm no professional typist, so when typing at >100WPM it's pretty common for mistakes to slip in. For example, I'm forever typing 'windows' when I mean to type 'window'. This is a habit picked up from years of typing 'c:\windows' without consciously thinking about it.

I'm perfectly aware of the difference between 'where' and 'were', and I assume that the majority of adult English speakers are also aware. Like you say, most people are taught at a pretty early age. As such, I'm not about to shine a spotlight on it when that mistake is made in a casual throwaway comment because the author already knows they've made a mistake. Pointing it out serves no purpose other than to waste comment space which could otherwise be filled with meaningful comment and debate, which is ironic because I consider this comment to be a waste of space that I wouldn't normally bother to post.

If it makes you feel any better, just because I haven't responded to all of your comments doesn't mean I haven't found value in reading them.

@Sleeper: Thanks for pointing out the US discrepancy. I can believe it too; their networks are constantly pushing the latest Android phone as an alternative to AT&T's iPhone.

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