RIM remains smartphone top dog in the UK

RIM remains smartphone top dog in the UKLast week we looked at the latest info from the US smartphone market and what it might mean for us locally. This week comes the far more relevant stuff of some figures from the UK market itself.

Number-cruncher GfK has tallied up the figures and released its smartphone sales figures for 2010 as a whole – both contract and pre-pay, and the results come as something of a surprise.

It may be fashionable to bang on about the perceived superiority of the iPhone and the ever-increasing number of options Android is presenting to the smartphone user, but that doesn't seem to be concerning RIM too much, as BlackBerry claimed a total of 28.2% of all smartphone sales last year.

Ah, we hear you say, but that's for the whole year; no doubt BlackBerry started off well and tapered off as Android got stronger and the iPhone 4 settled in. Er, no, actually. Over the Christmas period BlackBerry took a whopping 36% of sales, or more than half a million units.

Healthy figures indeed, and proof that RIM's shift to a more consumer-friendly profile through the adoption of touch and the introduction of the socially friendly BlackBerry OS 6 is paying dividends.

The fact that it's managed to do so without losing its key communications strengths is notable, too – BB Messenger remains one of the most underrated mobile services around, though perhaps not, as 33 million people worldwide are now enjoying the benefits – a staggering 500% increase year-on-year.

We've already had a good look at RIM's smartphone plans for the 2011, and there seem to be solid – if unspectacular – steps forward in most areas. Yet that seems to be what BlackBerry is all about, and it's a formula that certainly seems to be working.

Via TechRadar

Read more about: Blackberry OS

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mmbeak  Jan. 31, 2011 at 09:29

Can you really make a direct comparison of iPhone sales against BB sales when over the Christmas period a BB could be bought for as little as £100/150 when the iPhone would cost at least £350?
I think if Apple considered re-launching the original 2G (albeit improved aesthetically) for around £150/200, the sales figures would tell a very different story.
But who am I kidding - Apple's marketing strategy is too obstinate to even CONSIDER that option....

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 31, 2011 at 12:02

hi mmbreak,
You're making a good point, but it is speculative, isn't it? Apple did not relaunch the 2G. They could've. But as Judge Judy would say, "coulda, shoulda, woulda"...

Sorry...the point of the article is that perceptions are just that: perceptions. And while the term 'smartphone' remains undefined statistics can tell us all sorts of things. I read predictions for the 2011 'smartphone' market that don't even take into account Symbian's many flavours... Certainly a perception that could be called 'american'... So looking at figures for real UK smartphone sales is certainly relevant. And I find the budget approach by RIM more effective than the games played by some of Apple's 'competitors' who play according to Apple's rules. Trying to build iPhone clones with a dash extra...hm...if your business is under fire, the motto 'join them if you can't beat them' is not alway the wisest. Especially not in a harsh economy.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 31, 2011 at 12:52

Curious: I just came across this article => moconews.net/article/419-handset-rankings-nokia-leads-and-androids-not-a-panacea-for-competitors/
The link is currently all over Twitter, mostly with the line "Android leads" or some variation thereof. Now, if you go and actually read the article and the reports it mentions, the message is quite a different one. Again, perception beats even hard figures... It's an interesting read with an important message for those 'fighting' Apple's 'perceived' dominance ;)


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