updated 04:40 pm EST, Thu February 28, 2008
ChangeWave on corp phones
Although Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphones continue to top the list of the most purchased and desirable handhelds in the corporate world, Apple is making unusually strong gains in the field, according to a new study by ChangeWave. The research group notes that while a large split exists between the marketshare of the BlackBerry line and the iPhone -- each used by 73 percent and just 5 percent of responding business users in February, respectively -- the situation is likely to continue to change in favor of the smaller player in the future based on planned purchases. RIM is expected to remain comfortable with 77 percent of these sales but faces roughly 11 percent of workplaces buying iPhones.
The percentage looking to buy the Apple handset represents a slight drop from a previous high in November but represents a significant lead over all other smartphone makers, all of whom also dropped during the same period. Palm held on to third place at 8 percent for future rollouts while Motorola and Samsung claimed 7 and 4 percent.
Regardless of the stable position, RIM's lead may be showing signs of flattening out, ChangeWave adds. The cellphone producer expanded its lead over Palm in existing share primarily through Palm's own decline from 19 to 18 percent. BlackBerry use has remained flat since November and has been hurt by a sudden drop in its satisfaction rankings: just 47 percent are "very satisfied" with the phone, with 8 percent of all users now only somewhat pleased or unhappy with the device.
By contrast, the iPhone remains the most likely to satisfy business workers, with 59 percent expressing the same high satisfaction level.
The report arrives just a day after Apple announced an iPhone event that will see the company unveil first details of a third-party software development kit for the iPhone as well as added support for enterprise-scale business, both of which have been considered necessary for the iPhone to gain added influence in the workplace.