BlackBerry is the best selling smartphone in the UK, according to its manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM).

RIM cited figures from GfK that claimed BlackBerry was responsible for 26.3 percent of all smartphone sales during December 2011. Furthermore, the figures also revealed that on average across the whole year, BlackBerry accounted for 27.7 percent of the market, which RIM says makes it the best selling smartphone brand in the UK for the second year running.

RIM also revealed the number of BlackBerry subscribers surged by 35 percent to 75 million worldwide, with more than 8.5 million of these in the UK.

However, this contradicts figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech for a 12 week period ending on December 25 2011. According to the research firm, BlackBerry's accounted for 16 percent of all smartphones sales during this period. Furthermore, RIM's smartphone platform was only the third most-popular in the UK, being beaten by Google's Android, which came first with 43.9 percent of all smartphone sales during these three months and Apple's iPhone, which came second, accounting for 34 percent.

The news comes just a week after RIM announced co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie had stepped down. Thorsten Heins, who was previously COO at the firm, has taken over as the new President and Chief Executive Officer. Heins joined RIM joined RIM from Siemens Communications Group in December 2007.

However, analysts and industry partners think Heins may have only until the end of the year to prove his mettle. By then, they say, he must get new BlackBerry 10 smartphones out the door and get Playbook 2 tablet sales off to a good start when they begin shipping starting next month.