BlackBerry maker RIM has announced record revenue and earnings for the third quarter of 2011, as well as record shipments of handsets.

RIM has been mounting a challenge to the smartphone consumer market with its BlackBerry range of late after becoming a dominant figure in business, and will feel that the latest figures represents a significant step.

With the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet poised to arrive next year, RIM's growth was fuelled by the BlackBerry Style 9670 (although not in Europe) and the BlackBerry Bold 9780, along with the continued roll out of the BlackBerry Torch and Blackberry Curve 3G.

14.2 million

That boosted the all-important shipments figure from 14.2 million from last year's Q3 total of 10.1 million.

Revenue was $5.49 billion (c£3.51bn), up 40 per cent year on year – compared to $3.92 billion in Q3 2009.

The company also revealed it is expecting to sell 14.5 to 15 billion devices in the current quarter which ends in February.