iPhone, BlackBerry Battle for Small Business Market Share: Report
BlackBerry maintains a lead, but Apple's iPhone is making gains among small business owners, says an AMI report.The small to medium-size business market is fertile ground for breaking Research in Motion's corporate smart phone hegemony, a report by IT research firm AMI-Partners indicated. Apple's iPhone, in particular, is making headway, especially with smaller businesses (SBs), according to company research. "The wealth of applications available for the iPhone makes it an attractive option for SBs," noted Karen Nielsen, senior telecom analyst with AMI. "Small businesses are less apt to have in-house IT support, making the application-rich iPhone an attractive multi-use option." AMI's study, 2010 The Dynamics of BlackBerry & iPhone Use - U.S. SMB Market, shows a solid BlackBerry position along with a growing iPhone presence. The report also finds the iPhone is making its way into the enterprise via employees, predominantly with SBs, while SMBs with high BlackBerry penetration tend to have in-house IT staffs. As the mobility features of smart phones become standard, features and applications would drive preference, especially among SMBs with little or no in-house IT support, the report predicted.
In addition, the single vendor smart phone model within individual SMBs is fading. According to Nielsen, "Employees are driving a dual/multiple smart phone model by purchasing their preferred brand for personal reasons, and then using it for corporate access." This, in turn, is causing businesses to support multiple brands, so that employees don't have to carry more than one device.