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BlackBerry nicks iPhone's UK smartphone crown

Barely 100,000 units between 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in Q3

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Smartphone sales went backwards in the UK during Q3 as customers abandoned Nokia and Apple. The figures don't look good when compared to last year's storming sales, and it's clear shoppers held off buying new gear during the build up to the latest iPhone launch.

According statistics from abacus fondlers Canalys, shipments declined 7 per cent to 5.3m units with a mixed performance from the major vendors.

"Clearly there was a big change in volumes with Apple and Nokia accounting for the vast majority of the declines but some of that deficit was made up by the likes of Samsung and HTC," said Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd.

BlackBerry took the UK smartphone crown from Apple despite shipments declining two per cent to 1.2 million units as Apple sales fell 26 per cent to slightly under 1.2 million handsets. In third place, Samsung soared 178 per cent to 1.1 million units.

Taiwanese firm HTC - which seized the number one spot in the US - grew 46 per cent to 800,000 units, Sony Ericsson fell 32 per cent to 300,000 units and Nokia sales collapsed 87 per cent to 130,000.

Shepherd said Apple's decline came on the back of a very strong Q3 2010 when the iPhone 4 launched, adding that customers this year kept their wallets in their pockets as they anticipated a next-gen model that turned out to be the iPhone 4S.

He said Nokia sales suffered as its product range transitioned to Windows Phone and support for Symbian dissipated: "Volumes declined rapidly as the old phone is on a system that people perceive as dead or going nowhere." ®

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