IPhones account for 23% of business smart phones to BlackBerry's 51%, ComScore says
Apple Inc.'s iPhone has earned itself close to a quarter of the business smart phone market, according to ComScore Inc., while BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Inc. accounts for about 52%.
That conclusion is based on two months of data -- that's ComScore's first snapshot of the smart phone market for business users -- meaning no trend is discernible.
The data set, from September, includes employees whose companies fully or partially pay their monthly smart phone bills. Not included are those who use their personal smart phone at work but are not reimbursed, nor those who foot the monthly bill for a company-supplied device.
ComScore acknowledeges that the data set leaves out some people who use their personal smart phones for business purposes, but stood by the general picture painted by the numbers.
"These numbers may not be a perfect measure of the enterprise market, but they should provide a reasonable quantitative representation of subscriber market share in that segment," said ComScore senior analyst Andrew Lipsman.
In October, quarterly sales of the iPhone surpassed those of the BlackBerry for the first time, with the iPhone selling 14 million and the Blackberry about 12 million -- numbers that include both consumer and business purchases.
That prompted Apple Chief Exectuive Steve Jobs to say, "We've now passed RIM, and I don't see them catching up to us in the foreseeable future."
Apple and RIM have been fighting to gain ground in each other's strongholds: RIM attempting to produce consumer-friendly phones and Apple trying to promote the iPhone as a device that can be used for a variety of business purposes.
"The lines are blurring," said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Kaufman Bros. "For many people, they use a single device to handle both their personal and professional lives. That's what Apple's about -- they're really good at that."
"But I'm not ready to count RIM out," he said.
Neither Apple nor RIM responded to requests for comment.
-- David Sarno