Until not long ago, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones had the reputation of most suitable phones for business users. But not anymore… According to a recent survey conducted by iPass, commercial Wi-Fi provider, among 2,300 smartphone owners employed at more than 1000 enterprises, Apple’s handsets proved to be the most popular.
Almost half (45%) of the respondents declared they prefer to use their iPhones at work, while 32% still consider BlackBerry phones the best communication tool and 21% of the business users voted to Android handsets. Android smarphones nearly doubled their last year score, and reached to the third position, overthrowing Nokia Symbian.
The reasons for the shift in preferences form BlackBerry handsets to iPhones seem to rely on not only the decline of Research in Motion and the consequent decrease in service quality, but mainly on the better competitors. Apple’s strategy aimed an increase in popularity in the enterprise environment, with actions such as the release of a service dedicated to the business users, B2B App Store.
The service offers to the companies a way to bulk-buy and custom-order apps for their employees’ use. “Whether you’re providing apps to two employees or ten thousand, the Volume Purchase Program makes it simple to find, buy, and distribute the apps your business needs”. In addition, Deutche Bank, J.P. Morgan and other financial institutions implemented pilot programs to allow iPhones at work. According to the survey, Apple’s approach seemd to have worked and another territory was conquered for iDevices.
On the other hand, the smartphone market seemed to have expanded from last year by 10% and the survey indicates now that 95% of the business users prefer a smartphone to a feature phone, most of them using individually-liable mobiles, rather than the company issued handsets.