"Blackberry is the best" says Blackberry -

As the majority of soothsayers predict Apple's expensive toys will tap into the high end consumer market in the West and Google's Android grabs the majority of market share elsewhere, RIM has tried to throw a spanner in the works.

Citing data from a GfK UK Advanced OS Handset Market report, it appears Blackberry had the top smartphone over the holiday month - though it doesn't tell us whether it's the Torch or older Blackberry models. RIM is keen to tell us that Blackberry has been the UK's top smartphone brand over 2010, while is also grabbed a record hire of 36 percent share in the smartphone market of December.

Tooting one's own horn, Blackberry continues: it is the top pre-pay smartphone brand for December with a 51.1 percent share and the top contract free brand in the same month, with a 23.3 percent share of the market.

But with a league of irked nations worrying about national security and RIM's encryption, while it appears to twiddle its thumbs, what does the good life on a rainy island count for in terms of progression? 

All the more the competing manufacturers are putting their eggs in the tablet basket. RIM has its upcoming Playbook but it will face fierce competition from the next generation iPad - which has an established fanbase keen to throw money at upgrading - and a slew of Android devices, in particular Motorola's Xoom which promises to be the first to truly show off Android's Gingerbread.

Pricing will play an important role in RIM's success with the Playbook. It is offering discounts for businesses which are bulk-buying with pre-orders but for the individual user, reports suggest price points will be lurking around the iPad area. 

Blackberry's boast that it was the number one pre-pay brand smacks of misplaced confidence. Industry watchers will be aware that Android-powered, affordable, entry-level smartphones will flood the shops over the coming years, and if nothing else, RIM is likely to lose out on a numbers game. There will be so many affordable Android smartphones it'll grab the market by default.

This latest announcement from RIM boils down to a carefully picked postcard that reads: 

"Dear everyone,

We're Christmas winners. Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

RIM"

*EyeSee Picture is a damaged rim.