BlackBerry 10

A stage in New York is set for a BlackBerry presentation unveiling the BlackBerry 10. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP/Getty Images / January 30, 2013)

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BlackBerry's 2013 ended on a rough note, as the struggling phone maker accounted for less than 0.5% of U.S. smartphone sales during the fourth quarter, according to a report.

The dismal sales figures came despite the introduction of the Blackberry 10 smartphone a year ago. The smartphone, running the company's latest version of its operating system, was supposed to help the Canadian company bounce back in the U.S. However, it appears that the company ended up taking a step backward.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, BlackBerry phones made up 2% of U.S. smartphone sales. That fell to less than 0.5% for the same period a year later, which includes the holiday buying season.

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"Because it's so small, we can't really estimate it with any more precision than that," a spokesman for Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, an equity research firm responsible for the study, told The Times.

The figure is shocking, with BlackBerry having dominated the U.S. smartphone market only a few years ago. After the rise of Apple and Samsung, BlackBerry took too long to reinvent itself and has become nearly irrelevant.

BlackBerry's struggles became evident about halfway through 2013, and the company decided put itself on sale. Eventually BlackBerry decided not to sell itself and ended up firing its CEO, Thorsten Heins, instead.

In its latest earnings report, BlackBerry said it sold 1.9 million smartphones worldwide from September through November. By comparison, Apple sold 51 million iPhones during its fiscal first quarter, which runs from October to end of December.

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