The number of people in the UK using smartphones increased 10 percent between Q2 and Q3 2009 from 5.6 million to 6.2 million - over 577,000 new users.

Although Nokia remains the dominant manufacturer in this sector, with 2.7 million users or 44 percent of smartphone owners, its share has been eroded by BlackBerry-maker RIM and Apple, reports the Nielsen Company.

BlackBerry increased its share amongst UK smartphone owners from 14 to 19 percent while Apple increased its share from 14 to 17 percent.

BlackBerry was the fastest-growing smartphone with almost 382,000 new UK users - 50 percent more than Apple?s iPhone (over 254,000 new users).

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Despite this increase the smartphone share of the UK market grew by just one percent from 14 to 15 percent of all UK mobile phone owners.

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Edward Kershaw, vice president of Mobile Media at Nielsen, said: "Although the number of smartphones users increased by ten percent, they still only account for one in every seven mobile owners.

"While smartphones get all the media attention it's important not to overlook what the vast majority of Britons are actually using.

"It's easy to be blinded by the hype but this results in a distorted picture of the mobile market. It will be interesting to see if the recent launches of BlackBerry's Storm 2 and the Palm Pre - dubbed the "iPhone killer" - will result in a great leap of smartphone market share in the UK."

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See also: Apple more profitable than Nokia

Fastest-growing UK mobile phone media activities