BlackBerry is UK's top smartphone - yet again

BlackBerry No1 in the UK
By DJ Reyes on 30 Jan 2012 10:21 am EST

A year ago almost to the day, we posted that BlackBerry smartphones were the top selling phones in the UK. This year the same holds true once more. The same data group that gave us this news last year, GfK, released its latest results which sees BlackBerry dominate the mobile phone market for the second year running. It took 26.7% of the December sales and averaged 27.7% during the whole of 2011.

With a lot of negative press about BlackBerry, more so in North America, this is great news for RIM, who currently has a new CEO at the helm. The entry level Curve models are a great starting point for many wanting to own a BlackBerry and have always been a popular choice in the UK. 

The UK is certainly looking forward to whatever RIM brings this year. Keep reading for the full press release.

Full Press Release

The latest results from data firm GfK show that BlackBerry® was the #1 selling smartphone in the British market for the second year running. It continues to dominate the market, grabbing 26.3% of December sales and averaging 27.7% through 2011.

The BlackBerry® global subscriber base grew 35% year on year in December to 75 million. The UK customer base is going from strength to strength with over eight and a half million active subscribers by the end of 2011.

BlackBerry® launched its latest operating system, BlackBerry® 7, in August 2011 introducing a portfolio of stylish new smartphones including the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Bold 9790, Torch 9860, Torch 9810, Curve 9380 and Curve 9360.

The update to BlackBerry® 7.1, announced earlier this month, will be rolled out in the coming months. This software update builds on the strengths of BlackBerry 7 to further enhance the mobile experience on BlackBerry®. It includes BlackBerry® Tag, the latest innovation in Near Field Communication (NFC), which allows users to share contacts, photos and files by tapping their devices together. Friends can be added to BBM, contact information exchanged, documents shared as well as multimedia content, all in an instant. Another key feature of 7.1 is that you can now turn your BlackBerry into a mobile hotspot that can be shared by up to 5 Wi-Fi®-enabled devices, including laptops and tablets such as the BlackBerry PlayBook.

PlayBook 2.0 was announced at this year's CES show and will be available in February. The new software will allow customers to stay even more connected and productive in their personal and professional lives. Key features include native email with integrated social network messaging capabilities. Updates from popular social networking sites such as Twitter® and LinkedIn® will all appear in the integrated inbox. It also brings a wealth of apps with thousands more to choose from across gaming and lifestyle to business and productivity including Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Groupon, Thomson Reuters, Zinio and many more.

Source: Tracy and Matt 

Reader comments

BlackBerry is UK's top smartphone - yet again


Right on!! I wish more of this would surface in American news.... Unfortunately all American's ever read is poopoo on RIM... This perception (in NA) needs to be turned around pronto, before more market share corrosion takes place

I've been saying something like this for a while. But I'm more-or-less an asshole, so I look at it from an American, patriotic angle. You know, since Apple and Google are American - why focus on yet another device. I guess add Microsoft to the list.

Either way, I'm glad BlackBerry has the support in the UK.

This may be true..
But blackberry is loosing ground in UK as per few friends from there... I hope the new changes will stop Apple take a bite at blackberry around the world.

And yet they still screw support, cant get RIMs own apps (playbook news), no currency conversion in app world so apps are over priced cobsiderably.

Maybe the new guy will sort it out but i doubt, thats why i moved to the galaxy nexus!

Thats odd as I have BlackBerry News app on my Playbook - is that the app youre meaning ?

Also BlackBerry Travel had a good currency converter, thats when BB Travel worked before the latest update :/

Just to clarify - it isn't a currency convertor app that we lack in the uk!
Basically if something is $0.99 in the US we in the UK get charged £0.99, so we get screwed.

It seems the British are more interested in productivity and less interested in Angry Birds and Netflix.
People in the U.S. want easy, with lots of entertainment. Regardless of the fact that there is no other device as secure as the BlackBerry phone or has better e-mail and messaging.

Regardless of what the U.S. media says about BlackBerry, it is just an awesome device. I love my Bold 9930 and could go over ten advantages from BlackBerry over any other platform but there is no point. Many U.S. consumers want Angry Birds and Netflix. Nothing else matters to them.
To each his own. I'll always get BlackBerry devices and nothing else.

I'd be careful what you say about productivity: I believe that the higher market share is due to a younger demographic. For example, the Curves are very popular with younger, first time smartphone owners who like the low cost of the phone, as well as the free BBM system. So the main reasons are cheap price, and free text messaging with your buddies. Productivity has nothing to do with it, really.

What is disturbing is that the market share is not going up (26.3% in December, which is lower than the overall average of 27.7% throughout 2011). So it looks like the younger crowd is not staying with BBs on their subsequent phones, which is problematic.

if more blogs realised that there are places outside of america that sell BlackBerry phones and do well there would be no negative press!
yes USA share is probably down but rest of the world is loving BB still!
Cheap curves for the win

The reason that Blackberry is popular in the UK is that it is the most affordable smartphone for teenagers to communicate with each other. This is the part of the market that is growing/large - the corporate sector is plummeting as it is elsewhere in the world.
With a pay-as-you-go deal (ie non-contract) you pay per call/text and generally have limited data. PAYG Blackberrys are fairly cheap devices, and using BBM they can in effect get unlimited messaging with their friends. It has in effect reached a tipping point where if you are a teenager and don't have a Blackberry you are not 'in'.

From a corporate perspective (I am a BES Admin for a large corporate) Blackberry is still dying a death and desperately in need of resusitation.

I'm a BES admin as well and I see a portion of my BB moving to iOS but what they find out quickly is that the iStuff doesn't do what the BB can and 25% of them come back to BB in a matter of a week.

Way off topic but...
As a BES admin are you using bb balance and are you looking at BYOD / bb fusion?

And at the same time, a not so flattering note from the NYTimes: "BlackBerry Under Siege in Europe"

It talks about more business adopting Android in the next 18 months. Anyway, Heins is here to fight and rock and roll these competitors.

I've recently got a 'new' curve 9300 as a main communication device for the simple reason that it gets stuff done, and it gets it done well. And at the minute it's nice to use to do my emailing on my Playbook :)

My other phone is a Galaxy Nexus which i still maintain is the best smartphone on sale today anywhere in the world, but i play games on it, watch videos, listen to music. The keyboards and email capabilities alone are enough to keep one in my pocket, i can't stand typing emails on touchscreen keyboards.

Teenagers over here do LOVE BBM though...maybe I'm the only Brit who never really got into it ;)

Heading to Devcon Europe next week which is sold out, so seems to be plenty of support over this side of the world for the BB nation!

RIM ain't gonna survive too long on PAYG Curves. Top end smartphones is where the money is at and Androids are streets ahead. I recently traded my 9780 for a HTC Sensation XE and haven't looked back. The functionality is way beyond my BB. And I knew my BB inside out.

You're obviously still looking back because you're on this website! Also, RIM doesn't just make money selling phones. They make over $1 billion every quarter thanks to its service revenue stream.

Great News again, BB is so popular here but nobody seems to notice as its outside North America which is a real shame, lots of apps come out for other fruit based devices but never the same for BB as they seem to think its a dying platform to develop for but they just need to be educated.

If anyone saw the Sunday Times top 500 apps list over the last 2 weekends it was probably 95% apps for other devices than BB, i personally think it was written by an iphone user as there didnt seem to be any effort to find out about great BB apps like Poynt or BlackBerry Travel but reading the list i kept thinking "why cant that be an BB app too" ie SKY TV have a great iphone app that you can record progammes from your device if your out & forget to set the record button - why cant the developers do that for BB ?

oh wow, even when there is postitve news, the negatives keeps coming out non the less. I cant understand why ppl continue to gauge things according to the US economy. way to go trolls. gotta visit relatives in london this summer, so i"ll find things out for myself for curiosity. isle of man here we come.

i have become increasingly more mobile in the last few yrs, and more dependent with my berry as a main comm device, and of course my trusty playbook. As for me i value security above all else. i just cannot see why anyone would spent hrs doing games n movies on a tiny 3.5 screen. thanks to the tech gods i got my playbook for that. if i want real gaming just hit up on my ps3 on my 60 inch n i"m good to go till morning.

i'm gonna laugh at those business sector who are migrating to andriod n ipbone, when security becomes a serious issue; and it will. I"ll bet my ducati 916 on it. It already happening with andriod and iphone having a serious issue with remote wipe. Every mobile device has its uses, and their role with the consumer, i just believe berries will and always will be the de facto for comm and security.

dying? i don't think so. RIM is still earning money. Motorola is dying losing 80 million dollars last quarter. when RIM starts to lose money, you can call it "dying". but with 5million new subscribes and total revenue for services is still > 1 billion, you cant call it dying.

This is marketing gold!! What are the marketing dept doing with this??????
Come on RIM, take a leaf out of Samsungs marketing book

well as a once bb 9810 user and now lumbered with a playbook because no one in the UK wants one, I can tell you all that this survey must have been performed asking only bb users. here in the UK it seems only teens use bb and maybe business people, as most in the UK use proper phones like android and windows, and only the rich youth and hip wanabies use iphone crap. bb have along way to go before they can even get considered, let alone catch up with the competition. android and iphone are way ahead of bb in all ways. I only had a bb for bbm, and even that was let down by their unreliable server. I for one like many others here, will stick with android, any amount of very usefull apps, most of which are free and fully functional, unlike bb where most are overpriced, and cut down versions. Many family members, who have a bb are now looking to android for their next device. Too many issues with bbm, reboots, slow to do anything and general badly designed none working phones. RIP bb.

" most in the UK use proper phones like"

Thanks for doing your part to show there are idiots in the UK. The article already gave the answer to this line: Blackberry, but you, of course, go on to offer an alternative DESPITE THE DATA! Go back to school!

I never get why the most people here when they choosing a different platform or talking about it mostly saying "Iphone".

I just don't get it. Of course I also considering to go sometimes when I lost hope again on some stupid things RIM have done again.

But why would I buy a phone which is the total oposite of BB?

I am looking for devices like droid pro + (Europe it is calles Moto pro+) chacha (htc, honestly without fb-button I would have it already ;) ) etc.

I am addicted to this bar qwerty(z) type! For me this is the best compromize and with my 7" tablett in combination I'm very flexible.

You guys know BGR, Engadget, Phonearena, nor The Verge are reporting this story. Amazes me that they make the bias so obvious, lol!

It is very true that Blackberry is number one in the UK and it is also true that there we are more interested in the productivity of the phones.

And it if further true that their is a massive young market that is coming of age and swear by Blackberry over the other fruit.

I don't know what it is like in the US at the moment but here in the UK by the time you are 13 you have convinced your parents to get you a contract Blackberry.

And once the kids are on a contract their are not going to give it up that's for sure to much peer pressure.

We give our old blackberry's to the children in our family always, and that won't change either, so here in the UK we will be Number 1 for some time to come.

The USA should take a leaf out of our book and stop griping about Angry Birds and get behind the brand like we have! Blackberry all the way!

No wonder it's the most popular smartphone in the UK. It is vastly superior to the competition when overall costs are considered. It's really a question of how much phone you get for your money. Sure, you can do all kinds of obscure and fancy things with the latest iphone or the next high-end Android device, but these phones cost £30-40/month, and you can get a BB Curve (sometimes even a Bold) on a 24 month contract for £15/month.

There are some cheap Android phones available at low costs too, but as old fashioned as the BB might be, the Curve is much better and reliable handset than an entry level Android device like the Samsung Europa, with a 6 hour battery life and a 2.8 inch touchscreen.

The BB has become the perfect teenage phone: a reliable gadget to listen to music, text friends, take some snapshots (and send those to friends), check emails and mess around a Facebook. For this (and this is ALL the teenagers want to do on their phones), nothing compares to the BB.


PlayBook OS 2.0 Launching February 21st Officially Confirmed
Published on 02-16-2012 12:45 PM

BlackBerry News,
BlackBerry PlayBook

We have been waiting to hear an official date for OS 2.0 a really long time from BlackBerry or a RIM employee. Ever since the first whispers of a date were published, it's all been speculation. Today though we got some official RIM confirmation. At the Developing Native Games with the BlackBerry NDK 2.0 Webcast today, Angel Aldana, RIM Manager (Latin America Alliances), confirmed the official date of PlayBook's OS 2.0 launch to be... Tuesday, February 21st! Barring any setbacks, we will have a shiny new OS on our PlayBooks in about 5 days! This is awesome.