BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has added over one million subscribers to its UK subscriber base since May this year, bringing the total number of UK subscribers to just over eight million.
The news comes as RIM ramps ups its fightback for smartphone market share with the launch of the new touch and QWERTY BlackBerry Bold 9790 and BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphones along with the UK launch of BBM Music.
In May this year, RIM announced it had just under seven million UK subscribers. Stephen Bates, UK MD of RIM revealed this week that subscriber numbers have gone up by more than one million in the past six months. He said: ‘RIM's customer base in the UK has recently passed eight million subscribers.’
Globally RIM has seen a 40% growth in its worldwide subscriber base, from 50 million in October 2010 to 70 million to date, with over 165 million smartphones in the marketplace.
The rise will come as good news to the troubled manufacturer, which enraged users on a global scale last month with a major outage that lasted three days, affecting RIM subscribers worldwide.
The BlackBerry Bold 9790 features a touch display and traditional keyboard. It is powered by a 1GHz processor and includes 8GB of on-board memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 32GB of additional storage.
The BlackBerry Curve 9380 is the first Curve smartphone with a touch display. It features a 3.2-inch high resolution display and comes with pre-installed social networking apps, including BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), Facebook, Twitter and Social Feeds apps. The handset also features a five-megapixel camera with flash and video recording.
Both devices are powered by the new BlackBerry 7 OS with improved browsing, voice-activated searches, and support for augmented reality and NFC. It also includes the ability to manage personal content separately from corporate content, and comes with a variety of personal and productivity apps out of the box.
The manufacturer’s new cloud-based music service allows users to build an evolving, community-based music library that is shared amongst their BBM Music friends. The size of the music library continues to grow as new contacts join the community and each user can select music from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.
Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO at RiM said: ‘More than 45 million customers already love the social communication benefits delivered through BBM and we are thrilled to be extending the experience into a uniquely social and interactive music service.
‘We have partnered with leading music companies to provide a ‘full track’ music sharing and discovery experience that will provide users with quality music on demand and allow them to connect with friends on a whole new level.’
Omnifone, a premier cloud music service provider, is providing RIM with a back-end solution for the BBM Music service that provides content management, music hosting and reporting functions.
RIM said both phones will be available from various carriers over the coming weeks.