We all know that Apple loves to blow its own trumpet - but now it's Research in Motion's turn to do a bit of narcissistic clamouring. And that's because RIM's BlackBerry handsets were the best selling smartphones in the UK for 2010.

In December 2010, BlackBerry's market share went to a record high of 36 per cent, with a 51.1 per cent share for pre-pay deals and 23.3 per cent for contract free phones.

The sales data was provided by business analysts Gfk, and RIM was quick to broadcast the results, along with its own BlackBerry data which stated that:

- It had sold over 129 million BlackBerry smartphones worldwide via more than 580 carriers and distribution partners in over 175 countries.

- BlackBerry Messenger experienced a 500 per cent increase in usage last year and currently has over 33 million users worldwide.         

- BlackBerry is the no.1 smartphone for Twitter with 6 Million downloads to date.

- BlackBerry App World now has over 16,000 applications available worldwide to download, which is a 60 per cent growth since Q2 2010.         

- There are more than 55 million BlackBerry subscribers.

Stephen Bates, MD for Research In Motion UK said: "December was a record month for us - with around 11 BlackBerrys sold every minute. The strength of sales in 2010 confirms BlackBerry’s leadership position in the UK smartphone market.

"This is highlighted in particular by our growth in the burgeoning pre-paid market. BlackBerry smartphones are now the number-one prepaid smartphones in the UK and we achieved the position of UK number one smartphone brand in 2010.

"Our consumers are attracted by applications such as BlackBerry Messenger, which experienced a 500 per cent increase in usage last year with currently 33 million users to date worldwide.     

"Looking ahead to 2011, the forthcoming BlackBerry PlayBook exemplifies how we are continually striving to anticipate and meet the needs of our ever-expanding customer base with highly innovative products."

2010 saw RIM release a number of new handsets into the market, including the BlackBerry Bold 9780 and the BlackBerry Torch 9800.

We've already seen a number of the BlackBerry handsets that are due in 2011, thanks to a couple of big leaks - the highlight of which looks like being the BlackBerry Storm 3, aka the Monaco Touch.

So, can RIM repeat its success this year? Let us know what you think using the comments below.

And also check out the big 2010 BlackBerry reviews:

BlackBerry Bold 9780 review

BlackBerry Torch review