Last 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.