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IDC: Android and iPhone to beat Blackberry in the enterprise sector for the first time

According to research firm IDC, shipments of BlackBerry phones in the enterprise market -- for the first time ever -- are set to be eclipsed by the iPhones and Android phones in 2012.
November 28, 2012

For the longest of time RIM has been enjoying the support of the enterprise sector, but Android and Apple phones are relentlessly chipping away at the BlackBerry maker’s stronghold. The updated report on the worldwide business use smartphone market released by IDC reveals the inevitable.

According to the research firm, shipments of BlackBerry phones in the enterprise device market — for the first time ever — are set to be eclipsed by the two main competing platforms in 2012.

Before we talk numbers, here’s how IDC classifies the segments. First, there’s the “corporate liable” category or smartphones that are bought by the work place, and second is the “employee liable” category or phones bought by the employees themselves.

As to how the landscape will look like by year’s end, IDC said that corporate-liable shipments of Android phones are expected to reach 15.1 million units, while employee-liable shipments will be 87.7 million. Apple’s numbers are 31.1 million and 37.1 million, respectively.

The figures show that more Android phones will be bought by employees and brought to the office, in what’s known as the bring-your-own-device setup (BYOD). On the other hand, Apple will have the lead on corporate-bought smartphones. The latter is a trend that IDC believes will continue to 2016.

According to IDC, the combined corporate-liable shipments of Android and Apple phones will surpass Blackberry’s shipments by a sizeable amount, while the employee-liable shipments of Blackberry phones will only total 5.2 million.  Considering that BlackBerry’s enterprise shipments reached 22.4 million in 2011, we should see a much lower figure this year. The platform is rapidly losing its support among consumers and developers, which “hinders its viability going forward.”

Will this be the final nail in RIM’s coffin? Or do you think the upcoming BlackBerry 10 will lend a new lifeline for RIM?