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iPhone beats BlackBerry on home ground

The iPhone outsold BlackBerry mobiles last year in Canada, RIM's home country.

More bad news for BlackBerry-maker RIM -- reports suggest that the iPhone outsold BlackBerrys last year in Canada, RIM's home nation.

According to statistics compiled by Bloomberg and IDC, Apple flogged 2.85 million phones in Canada in 2011, compared to 2.08 million BlackBerry devices, putting Apple's shiny blowers ahead by a cool half-million.

2011 will have been the first year in which Apple proved more popular than BlackBerry in Canada, the figures suggest. In 2010 BlackBerry kit outsold the iPhone by 500,000 units, and in 2008 -- the year that saw the release of the iPhone 3G -- BlackBerry gear was bought nearly five times as often.

It's no secret that RIM's fortunes have been on the slide, but there's some evidence that the company has held on better on its home turf than it has elsewhere. Bloomberg's numbers say BlackBerry sales in the third quarter of 2010 fell 23 per cent compared to 45 per cent in the US.

RIM is betting big on BlackBerry 10 phones -- smart phones that will be running the very latest version of the company's operating system, due out later this year. The BlackBerry London is one such device, rumoured to bring a slim design and, fingers crossed, some powerful components.

It's not plain sailing though. In December last year ex-CEO Mike Lazaridis confirmed that BlackBerry 10 phones had been delayed, due to microprocessors used in the devices not being available until the middle of this year. RIM also saw profits take a dive, having picked up a £235m bill for unsold PlayBook tablets.

Meanwhile a Reuters report suggests that RIM is looking to hire software developers with experience building apps for the iPhone and iPad. The posting on the company's LinkedIn page could hint that the Canadian company is looking to turn some of its services into iOS apps. Could we see BBM -- the service that catastrophically crashed last year -- on the iPhone before long?

At the end of January RIM's two chiefs were replaced with new boss Thorsten Heins. My colleague Natasha has compiled a handy list of five things the new guy needs to do -- and fast -- if he wants to turns the company's fortunes around.

Are you a BlackBerry addict? Or would you rather feel an iPhone or Android mobile occupying your pocket? Tell me below, or on our Facebook wall.