BlackBerry passes 8 million mark subscriber milestone in UK

BlackBerry passes 8 million mark subscriber milestone in UK

Summary: There are now over 8 million BlackBerry subscribers in the UK. While the U.S. market is losing ground with the BlackBerry maker, the Brits are taking to the phones like a duck to water.


Research in Motion said today that its subscriber base in the UK has surpassed the 8 million mark, as it unveiled a new cloud-based music service in the region.

BlackBerry Messenger has over 50 million instant messaging users worldwide, and 5 million applications are downloaded daily from the BlackBerry App World, the company said. But its competitors are releasing near-similar applications that could threaten these figures by the same quarter next year.

The Ontario-based smartphone giant has had anything but a smooth-sailing last quarter.

(Source: Flickr, CC)

The BlackBerry Music service, launched today, has a catalogue of over 45 million tracks, and a social networking feel. Users can stream over the network, or save for offline playing when there is no network connection, or poor reception.

Users have been flocking to the range of BlackBerry smartphones for years, with a particular focus on younger people and the BlackBerry Messenger service, which offers free, encrypted messaging between devices.

But while on the face of it the BlackBerry maker celebrates its 8 million user mark, the company continues to struggle amidst rising competition from Google's Android mobile operating system, used on the majority of UK mobile phones, and Apple's iPhone device, which has a significant presence in the UK.

The company has also struggled this quarter with a series of outages that left, in one case, users worldwide without service for up to four days, after a datacenter near London failed, and had knock-on consequences around the world.

It offered free compensatory applications through the BlackBerry App World; seen as a controversial move, which could result in greater sales for the company. The BlackBerry maker makes a cut from all profits from the BlackBerry application store, and it was thought that by users collecting free applications from the catalogue would increase the number of users downloading and installing premium applications.

Figures from market analyst Gartner shows Research in Motion's marketshare has dropped to 10 percent in the U.S. during the third-quarter, its lowest so far. Yet in the UK market, the BlackBerry marketshare accounted for 22.5 percent of all smartphones.


Topics: Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: BlackBerry passes 8 million mark subscriber milestone in UK

    There are only 2 real markets for Bl;ackberry in the UK<br><br>- Corporate, many of whom have a handset so locked down, you can't load apps, and you certainly won't get the music service. Owners of these generally hate them.<br>- Kiddies, looking to save money on calls/SMS'swith free BBM.<br><br>Everyone else with a Smartphone has an iPhone or Android 'in the hand', inc. many with locked down useless corporate Blackberry's. Nokia Symbian or Windows Phone 7 are no-where.<br><br>--<br>From your own referring article a couple of weeks abo<br><br>At 43.8 percent, nearly half of the British population own a smartphone, with 49.9 percent owning an Android powered smartphone. Research in Motions BlackBerry marketshare accounted for 22.5 percent, with Apples iPhone dropping from 33 percent a year ago to 18.5 percent this quarter.<br><br>Market growing, Android share rampant, with RIM/Apple dropping against this.
  • RE: BlackBerry passes 8 million mark subscriber milestone in UK

    Wait! was not RIM dead?
  • RE: BlackBerry passes 8 million mark subscriber milestone in UK

    Why do you hate BlackBerry? You seldom seem to mention the MANY advantages of BlackBerry devices, only mention bad things most of the time.
    John Hanks