iPhone now more popular than BlackBerry in workplace, study finds

Apple’s iPhone has overtaken RIM’s BlackBerry devices as the top smartphone in the workplace, according to a new study from enterprise mobility services company iPass.

iPass’s latest Mobile Workforce report, which is released every quarterand is based on responses from more than 2,300 workers at 1,100companies worldwide, found that 45% of workers had iPhones while 32.2% had BlackBerrydevices. Last year, in contrast, 34.5% of workers said they usedBlackBerry devices while 31% said they used the iPhone. The survey alsoshowed that Android has shown impressivegrowth over the last year, as 21% of workers reported usingAndroid-based devices this year, up from 11% of workers who reportedusing Android devices last year.

What’s more, it only looks as though Apple will consolidate the gainsit’s made in the enterprise, as 18% of workers said they planned toacquire an iPhone in 2012 while only 2% said they planned on acquiringa BlackBerry device next year.

iPass said that these results don’t indicate a major drop in marketshare for BlackBerry but rather rapid growth for alternatives such asthe iPhone and Android-based devices. Overall iPass said the growth ofiPhone and Android in the enterprise “is reflective of more choice inthe enterprise” as “73% of enterprises now allow non-IT managed devices toaccess corporate resources.” Companies are also taking a more hands-offapproach to provisioning smartphones as just 58% of companies say theyprovision their workers’ devices, down from 66% a year ago.

RIM losing enterprise share
The iPass survey is the second study in recent months showingBlackBerry losing its clout as the dominant device for enterprises. Asurvey released by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) last monthfound that 30% of BlackBerry users in enterprises of 10,000 employeesor more plan to switch to a different platform over the next year. EMAsaid that this will lead to a significant reduction of RIM’s marketshare in large enterprises, which currently stands at 52%.

“We expected to see some market share loss by RIM, but these resultswere far more dramatic than we could have anticipated,” said SteveBrasen, EMA’s managing research director. “Both enterprises andemployees indicated they were broadly abandoning BlackBerry devices forprimarily Android and iOS platforms, and this data was collected beforethe recent BlackBerry service failures, whichcan be expected to even further accelerate migration.”

RIM’s market share in the overall smartphone industry has been steadilydeclining over the past two years. Nielsen reported this fall thatBlackBerry devices account for only 18% of all smartphones used by U.S.subscribers, well behind the market share of Android devices (43%) andthe iPhone (28%). The company last month was hit by an embarrassingfour-day service outage that occurred when a dual-redundant,dual-capacity core switch failed and its backup switch failed toactivate. The company has since offered its customers free premium appsto make up for the outage.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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