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 quarter and is based on responses from more than 2,300 workers at 1,100 companies worldwide, found that 45% of workers had iPhones while 32.2% had BlackBerry devices. Last year, in contrast, 34.5% of workers said they used BlackBerry devices while 31% said they used the iPhone. The survey also showed that Android has shown impressive growth over the last year, as 21% of workers reported using Android-based devices this year, up from 11% of workers who reported using Android devices last year.
What's more, it only looks as though Apple will consolidate the gains it's made in the enterprise, as 18% of workers said they planned to acquire an iPhone in 2012 while only 2% said they planned on acquiring a BlackBerry device next year.
iPass said that these results don't indicate a major drop in market share for BlackBerry but rather rapid growth for alternatives such as the iPhone and Android-based devices. Overall iPass said the growth of iPhone and Android in the enterprise "is reflective of more choice in the enterprise" as "73% of enterprises now allow non-IT managed devices to access corporate resources." Companies are also taking a more hands-off approach to provisioning smartphones as just 58% of companies say they provision their workers' devices, down from 66% a year ago.
The iPass survey is the second study in recent months showing BlackBerry losing its clout as the dominant device for enterprises. A survey released by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) last month found that 30% of BlackBerry users in enterprises of 10,000 employees or more plan to switch to a different platform over the next year. EMA said that this will lead to a significant reduction of RIM's market share in large enterprises, which currently stands at 52%.
"We expected to see some market share loss by RIM, but these results were far more dramatic than we could have anticipated," said Steve Brasen, EMA's managing research director. "Both enterprises and employees indicated they were broadly abandoning BlackBerry devices for primarily Android and iOS platforms, and this data was collected before the recent BlackBerry service failures, which can be expected to even further accelerate migration."
RIM's market share in the overall smartphone industry has been steadily declining over the past two years. Nielsen reported this fall that BlackBerry devices account for only 18% of all smartphones used by U.S. subscribers, well behind the market share of Android devices (43%) and the iPhone (28%). The company last month was hit by an embarrassing four-day service outage that occurred when a dual-redundant, dual-capacity core switch failed and its backup switch failed to activate. The company has since offered its customers free premium apps to make up for the outage.