Android snaps at BlackBerry heels: Pair will be neck and neck in business by 2016

Google's mobile OS to make significant gains in enterprise smartphone market, say analysts...
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

Google's mobile OS to make significant gains in enterprise smartphone market, say analysts...

Android is making big strides in the business market and will be snapping at the heels of RIM's BlackBerry in five years' time, analysts have predicted.

Google's mobile OS will account for 26 per cent of corporate smartphone shipments in 2016, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21 per cent. While BlackBerry will remain the dominant smartphone player among business users over the next five years - thanks to strong device management and security capabilities making it "a favourite with IT departments" - it will only retain this lead by a whisker-thin margin, according to research by Ovum - accounting for 27 per cent of the market in 2016.

Enterprise shipments of BlackBerrys will grow at a CAGR of just 5.3 per cent between 2011 and 2016, the analyst forecasts - rising from 10.9 million at the end of this year to 14.8 million in 2016. Ovum predicts 4.7 million Android devices will ship to enterprise users by the end of this year, and up to 14.2 million in five years' time.

BlackBerry vs iPhone

BlackBerry vs iPhone: Apple's iOS and Google's Android are gaining ground in business marketPhoto: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Apple's iPhone is also making inroads into the enterprise device market and its presence will increase significantly - thanks to pressure from employees wanting to use Apple hardware for work.

Ovum predicts iPhone shipments to business users will reach 9.3 million in 2016, accounting for 17.8 per cent of the market and growing at a CAGR of 11.2 per cent. The analyst forecasts 4.9 million iPhones will ship to business users at the end of this year - slightly more than Android devices.

Android and iPhone handsets are gaining ground in business thanks to improvements in device manageability on both platforms, according to Ovum. Support for more business applications will also increase the appeal of the two platforms to business users.

Relative newcomer Windows Phone will also see some success in the enterprise market. Shipments of Windows Phone in the enterprise market will increase from 1.25 million in 2011, to 11.15 million in 2016, according to Ovum.

Significant growth in the overall business smartphone market is being driven by the need for businesses to support business applications on handheld devices as enterprises adopt more flexible working patterns and continue to support employees away from the workplace, Ovum added.

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