Touted in the media for its ‘tragic decline’, the BlackBerry, the once ubiquitous businessman’s best friend, may not be going down without a fight.

Or that’s what a study into email open and click rates across Europe would suggest.

Taking the Apple and Android titans by the blindside, BlackBerry devices saw 71% year-on-year growth in email opens and clicks in the UK – one of the highest rates in the EU, according to study co-ordinator SendGrid .

Its most triumphant growth was in the emerging Polish market, where email engagement on the device climbed 238% since last year, while Croatia wasn’t far behind at 218%.

Rates also rose in Sweden (+59%), Italy (+32%), Belgium (+19%), Netherlands (+10%) and Spain (+11%).

In fact, open rates for the over-buttoned underdog only fell in only four of the 28 EU member states, with Austria (-60%) standing out as its least successful stop-off on the email comeback tour.

Corporate use

The findings show that BlackBerry may still have a grip on its target audience of business professionals, and might be riding on corporate emails being increasingly sent from the handset.

“Since the very first corporate email was sent a little over 33 years ago this week, we’ve seen it become the ‘de facto’ business communications tool of the modern era, more recently consisting mainly of mobile-based communications,” said Aaron Beach, SendGrid’s senior data scientist.

“Email has now become the dominant platform for sending and receiving corporate email. Our data indicates that tablet usage just hasn’t taken off in the same meaningful way.”

But this might not be the last we hear on BlackBerry this year, with reports revealing that the Canadian firm has two new smartphones in the works, featuring Google’s Android operating system.

Apple vs Android

Meanwhile, rivalry between the two operating systems we’re more comfortable talking about remains hot, even in the mobile email space.

Apple still makes up almost a quarter (24%) of email opens and clicks in the UK, the largest European market in terms of emails delivered, but this is a decrease of 8% on last year despite a rise of the same figure across the EU as a whole.

However, Android email engagement grew in the UK by 23% over the same period and an average of 68% in the EU, where 22 member states witnessed an increase.

“Whilst Apple devices remain the most popular business communications platform, we’ve seen Android steadily catch up in our year-on-year data for all device platform clicks.

“Apple will have some work to do to maintain their dominant position,” said Beach.