by Al Sacco

Study: BlackBerrys Dominate Enterprise, But iPhone Users Happiest

Mar 04, 2008 3 mins
IT Leadership Mobile Small and Medium Business

A new survey finds that RIM and its BlackBerry still lead the business smartphone space, but Apple iPhone users are most satisfied.

Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, is the clear leader in business smartphone marketshare, and the Canadian company’s dominance will continue throughout the second quarter of this year, according to a recent report. However, Apple and its iPhone wins the top slot in enterprise user satisfaction.

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Seventy-three percent of the 2,013 IT decision makers queried by market research firm ChangeWave said their companies currently employ RIM BlackBerry devices. That percentage is unchanged since ChangeWave’s last survey, in November, 2007, but RIM’s lead over it closest competitor, struggling Treo-maker Palm, grew by a percentage point.

Palm has 18 percent of the market, Motorola has nine percent, Nokia has seven percent, and both Apple and Samsung have five percent, according to ChangeWave. (With the software development kit for the iPhone due this week, which will enable external developers to create business-specific applications, Apple’s is sure to see an increase in the number of companies using its smartphones over the coming months and years, analysts say.)

BlackBerry Curve 8320 from RIM

ChangeWave also predicts that RIM’s enterprise penetration will continue to increase through second quarter 2008, as 77 percent of respondents said they plan to buy RIM devices for future smartphone deployments. Apple will soon take the second place slot in business smartphone ranking, according to ChangeWave, with 11 percent of respondents saying their companies plan to purchase iPhones. Only eight percent of respondents said they plan to purchase Palm devices.

“What we have here is a huge and still growing market share lead for Research In Motion that for the moment appears near invincible,” said ChangeWave Founder Tobin Smith in a release. “However, at the same time, we’ve picked up an unusual eight-point decline in the percentage of corporate customers who say they are ‘Very Satisfied’ with their RIM BlackBerry smartphones, which may mean that there’s a problem brewing for the Canadian manufacturer.”

Apple   iPhone

Though Apple took a small sliver of the business smartphone market pie, its iPhone landed the leading spot in customer satisfaction with nearly 60 percent of respondents saying they are “very satisfied” with their Apple devices. RIM came in second place with 47 percent, which indicates an eight percent drop in user satisfaction since ChangeWave’s November, 2007 survey. Nokia took third place with 40 percent, Samsung was fourth with 30 percent, Motorola took fifth place with 25 percent and Palm came in sixth with a mere 10 percent of users saying they were “very satisfied.”

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A related November, 2007 study from J.D. Power and Associates found that BlackBerry users were the most satisfied business customers due to the devices’ ease of operation, operating system (OS), physical design, audio quality, battery life, and utility features.

For the survey, ChangeWave queried 2,013 members of its ChangeWave Alliance who are involved in IT decision making, fielding the research between Feb. 11 and Feb. 15. More information on the report is available on the ChangeWave website.