RIM: Outages have not affected handset sales

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Manufacturer claims “fantastic” sales of 700,000 handsets over Christmas and strong Playbook sales following stock write-down

RIM’s UK and Ireland managing director, Stephen Bates (pictured), says sales of BlackBerry handsets have not been affected following last year’s much publicised data outages.

Bates, who was talking to Mobile News during this year’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, claimed subscriber numbers have gone from seven million to more than eight million.

Bates said Christmas was RIM’s strongest growth period, topping sales for the previous year with around 700,000 handsets sold.

He also said RIM’s £230 million write-down on the value of PlayBook stock had allowed it to cut the price of the device, contributing to a sales spike during the Christmas period – although Bates declined to provide figures.

Bates said: “A year ago we had around seven million subscribers in the year. We are now over eight million, so through that period [of the outages] we were still growing.

“It was actually a fantastic prepay Christmas for BlackBerry – we sold more devices than we did the year before.

“We sold close to 700,000 devices over the Christmas period, which really contributed for the second consecutive year of us being the number one consumer smartphone in the UK.”

UK gobbles up free apps following outage

Bates said BlackBerry users in the UK had downloaded nearly a million of the free application offered by the manufacturer following the outage that occurred in October – more than in any other country.

Bates said the BlackBerry app store received more than six million downloads every day, with total downloads totalling more than 2 billion worldwide in total.

Bates said: “We have had good feedback on the offer of free applications and the highest number came from the UK. “It was an absolutely fantastic response.”

“We’ve got over 6 million downloads a day and around 2 billion in total.That has doubled year on year in terms of usage.”

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