Battle for push email market set to erupt — IDC

2 Oct 2006

While the Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry has become the gold standard for the enterprise device market, IDC believes Microsoft’s involvement with Motorola, Palm, and others, as well as Nokia’s commitment to an end-to-end strategy, will threaten RIM’s stronghold.

As a relatively untapped market, converged mobile devices for the enterprise sectir presents tremendous growth potential with significant opportunities for differentiation and specialisation arising from stringent IT requirements and increasing demand for additional features and functionality, according to IDC.

This is creating a fiercely competitive environment comprised of converged mobile device vendors battling for dominance within the mobile enterprise. IDC expects enterprise converged mobile device shipments to reach 63 million units worldwide by 2010, up from 7.3 million in 2005.

RIM is the undisputed market leader in the enterprise sector with more than 5.5 million subscribers worldwide and 2006 sales were around the US$2bn mark. But after nearly eight years, RIM is now challenged with defending its leading position as other vendors emulate its offerings.

IDC suggested that Nokia and Motorola are in strong positions because of their leadership in the overall mobile phone market, giving them influence as well as key positions within the value chains to challenge the work of RIM.

The Motorola Q and Nokia E61 are high-profile devices intended to generate buzz and to resonate with business users on both a functional and personal level.

In the fight for the enterprise market, both Motorola and Nokia are leveraging well-established software companies.

While Nokia has greatly expanded its product breadth and end-to-end solution with the acquisition of Intellisync, Motorola has powerfully combined forces with Microsoft to offer Windows Mobile 5.0.

According to IDC, Microsoft is the key partner that gives certain device vendors such as Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and Palm the ability to attack the core BlackBerry user base. Microsoft is ramping up IT policy support and is seeking to exploit its dominant position in the IT systems of enterprises worldwide as well as with end users familiar with the Windows OS and Microsoft applications.

IDC expects these Windows Mobile-supported devices to undergo the fastest growth, comprising 32.3pc of the market share by 2010.

“Several BlackBerry clones have previously attempted to challenge RIM’s reign in the enterprise market but this is a more formidable strike,” said Sean Ryan, research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Markets.

“The timing is right for a more powerful attack against RIM’s BlackBerry as competitive forces converge. Nokia is offering an end-to-end solution of its own while Motorola and Palm, among others, are leveraging Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 5.0 and Microsoft Exchange.”

By John Kennedy