BlackBerry Surrounded By Competitive Forces in the Enterprise Market: IDC Forecasts a Battle with Two Fronts

FRAMINGHAM, MA – SEPTEMBER 28, 2006 – As a relatively untapped market, converged mobile devices for the enterprise presents tremendous growth potential with significant opportunities for differentiation and specialization arising from stringent IT requirements and increasing demand for additional features and functionality. 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. 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 to weaken RIM's stronghold in the enterprise market.

RIM is the undisputed market leader in the enterprise with more than 5.5 million subscribers worldwide and FY06 sales around $2 billion. But after nearly eight years, RIM is now challenged with defending its leading position as other vendors emulate its offerings. IDC believes 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 in offering 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 32.3% 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," says 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."

This IDC study, Worldwide Enterprise Converged Mobile Device 2006 Vendor Analysis: Attack of the BlackBerry Clones (IDC #203281), examines the competitive landscape of the worldwide market for converged mobile devices in the enterprise, with a particular emphasis on high-profile devices descending on the mobile push email space that has been the core of RIM's BlackBerry devices. The devices highlighted in this study are designed for two-handed operation using a QWERTY keyboard and/or a stylus for telephony and data input and run on a high-level operating system (HLOS) such as BlackBerry OS, Linux, Palm OS, Symbian, or Windows Mobile.

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