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BlackBerry Loses Out to Windows Phone in the UK

UK smartphone users leave BlackBerry in droves

BlackBerry's market share has been slipping around the world for several years now, first with the advent of the iPhone and later with Android's growing popularity. And this year, eMarketer forecasts, Windows Phone will oust BlackBerry from its third-place position among the UK smartphone user base.

eMarketer's latest forecast of mobile phone usage in the UK paints a bleak picture for the operating system: BlackBerry users will decline by a whopping 35.2% this year, hitting a new low of 2.4 million—and the drop will be even steeper in 2015, leaving just 1.4 million BlackBerrys in the hands of UK consumers.

"The demise of BlackBerry has long been documented but these numbers highlight just how far it has fallen from grace. Android and iOS are clearly dominant, but while Microsoft is making significant effort to grow its presence—buying Nokia's mobile phone unit and recently partnering with HTC to offer a Windows-based version of the flagship HTC One M8—BlackBerry appears to have been treading water," comments Bill Fisher, UK Analyst at eMarketer.

Windows Phone, meanwhile, is rising substantially in popularity and will see 3.5 million users by the end of 2015.

Android-based handsets account for an outright majority of smartphones in the UK, with iOS running on another three in 10 smartphones. This doesn't leave too much room for other competitors, but Windows Mobile is clearly making space for itself, with a projected 9.0% market share by next year.

eMarketer estimates that in total, 36.4 million people in the UK will own and use a smartphone at least monthly this year, up nearly 10% over 2013 usage levels. This will take the UK smartphone population to nearly 70% of the mobile population. By 2018, eMarketer projects, nearly 70% of the entire UK population will have a smartphone.

eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends as well as trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

Additionally, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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