Apple’s iPhone has surpassed BlackBerry among business users for the first time, underscoring the company’s successful push into the corporate world.
Commercial Wi-Fi provider iPass polled more than 2,000 employees at over 1,000 enterprises last month, revealing Apple represents nearly nearly half of corporate mobile use, while Research in Motion’s device has sunk to slightly over one-third.
The shift is due more to the rise in popularity of competing smartphones, rather than the decline of the BlackBerry, according to iPass.
Apple has been making a play for enterprise for some time, unveiling an App Store designed for business users this summer and poaching several former RIM employees last year to strengthen its push into the corporate market.
This spring, Deutche Bank, J.P. Morgan and other financial institutions launched pilot programs allowing iPhones at work, indicating the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s gains in the enterprise sector and highlighting faith in the device’s security and business features.
But, the iPass survey is the first to measure iPhone’s popularity across varied industries and company sizes to reveal its newly minted overall enterprise dominance.
“While increasing iPhone usage in the workplace was inevitable, this is the tipping point when the iPhone has overcome the BlackBerry on its traditional enterprise turf, and business smartphones are in the hands of nearly every knowledge worker,” said iPass president and CEO Evan Kaplan.
More than 90 percent of workers use smartphones on the job, a huge jump since BlackBerry first introduced the concept of mobile messaging for business communication. Companies also allow employees more choice in devices these days, creating “bring your own device” policies. As a result, nearly half of all workers mix business and pleasure on a single handset, which is increasing not produced by RIM.
With the iPhone rising steadily in customer satisfaction and RIM bowing under widespread outages and financial problems, many employees and employers are using that newfound choice to migrate to the iPhone.
Other competing devices are gaining in enterprise use as well, such as Android smartphones, which run a close third behind iPhone and BlackBerry according to iPass. RIM may soon find itself falling off the bottom of the field as iPhone and Android take a place in the business sector the company once held so strongly.