BlackBerry phones see 'record year'

5 February 2009 — 5:00 PM

Consumers recycling mobile phones to raise cash for the latest contracts may be interested to hear the latest figures from Research In Motion (RIM).

The company has announced that 2008 was a record year for sales of its BlackBerry handsets, with the 50 millionth smartphone shipped last month.

RIM said that in the last four months of the year it was able to register an estimated 2.6 million devices.

Since its launch a decade ago, the BlackBerry has gone from initially being seen as a business-focussed handset, to increasingly being used as a gadget for the more casual user.

This was boosted last year by the launch of the BlackBerry Storm, RIM's first-ever touchscreen model that offered access to a range of social networking features.

"Over seven million people have downloaded the Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones application," RIM said in a recent statement.

It was announced last week that Orange would make available the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 on pay-as-you-go.

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