There's a pretty substantial difference between "sales" and "popularity," as evidenced by the glaring dissimilarities between this here top 10 list and the one churned out earlier this month by NPD. AvianResearch got its data by polling 100 service representatives at retail stores to "gauge consumer interest in handsets available at the four major carriers in the United States." In September, RIM's BlackBerry Curve maintained the "lead," with Apple's iPhone securing a very distant second place. LG's Dare and the BlackBerry Pearl followed suit, while the LG Voyager, Samsung Instinct, LG Rumor, LG Shine, Palm Centro and Nokia 5310 closed out the rear. But seriously, since when has popularity trumped cold hard sales? Ah well, here's your cookie, Curve.

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BlackBerry Curve tops curious list of most popular handsets in US