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Survey: RIM Rules in the US

BlackBerry remained the No. 1 cellphone vendor in the U.S. this month despite the challenge of the revamped 3G iPhone, according to a new survey from Avian Research LLC .

According to the research's firm monthly store survey, the RIM Curve was top dog in the U.S. followed by, in order, LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC), and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL).

It should be noted that Avian researches the numbers for this survey based on "100 service representatives at retail stores of the four major U.S. wireless carriers," so the figures don't reflect iPhone sales at Apple's own stores.

Nonethless, RIM continues to ride high in the smartphone stakes thanks to the strengh of the Curve model. RIM "held the top spot in the survey for the third consecutive month with the Curve easily the most frequently mentioned device," writes report author Matt Thornton, telecommunications analyst at Avian. RIM had 33 percent of the store responses for July, compared to 8 percent for Apple.

"The 3G iPhone launch catapulted Apple’s share of mentions to 8 percent from zero percent last month," Thornton notes. "The iPhone was tied with the Curve for the top spot at AT&T stores, although we believe the iPhone being out of stock at most stores may have weighed on its results."

Apple says it sold 1 million 3G iPhones in just three days after launch. (See Slideshow: A Picture Is Worth 1M iPhones.)

RIM is expected to follow up the Curve with up to four new devices by the end of the year. Among these could be the firm's first touch-screen model, a flip-phone, and the 3G BlackBerry Bold. (See RIM's Four Aces.)

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