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BlackBerry trumps iPhone sales for the first time

BlackBerry Curve named the best-selling consumer smartphone in the United States

RIM is taking more than a just slice of the Apple pie after its BlackBerry Curve beat sales of the iPhone to become the best-selling consumer smartphone in the United States in the first quarter of 2009.

Market research firm NPD Group claimed that RIM’s market share in the segment increased 15% from its previous quarter, taking over nearly 50% of the smartphone market this year.

The top five best-selling smartphones in order of ranking are: BlackBerry Curve (all 83xx models), Apple iPhone 3G (all models), BlackBerry Storm, BlackBerry Pearl (all models except the Flip) and T-Mobile G1.

There’s a noticeable absence of any Windows-enabled smartphones on the list, which RIM presently dominates.

NPD Group has credited RIM’s stellar rankings to the ‘aggressive marketing’ of the BlackBerry Storm and Verizon Wireless’ buy-one-get-one promotion in the States.

“The more familiar, and less expensive, Curve benefited from these giveaways and was able to leapfrog the iPhone, due to its broader availability on the four major U.S. national carriers,” stated Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at The NPD Group.

Smartphones now make up 23% of handset sales, a 6% rise from figures last year despite recession anxiety.

“Even in this challenging economy, consumers are migrating toward Web-capable handsets and their supporting data plans to access more information and entertainment on the go,” added Rubin.

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