Blackberry’s dominate the business PDA email market. But Apple’s iPhone initially designed for consumers may invade the business market as well.
Since the iPhone went on sale last summer, amid long lines of shoppers and media adulation, the contours of the smartphone market have begun to shift rapidly toward consumers. An industry once characterized by brain-numbing acronyms and droning discussions about enterprise security is now defined by buzz around handset design, video games and mobile social networks.[...]In the short term, Apple’s noisy entrance into the smartphone market has elevated the visibility of smartphones and enhanced the prospects of most of its rivals. Worldwide, smartphone shipments jumped 60 percent in the last three months of 2007 over the same period the previous year, according to IDC, the tracking firm. Of the two billion cellphones sold last year, nearly 125 million were smartphones — a share that analysts expect to inexorably grow.
R.I.M. added 6.5 million subscribers in its last fiscal year, twice the previous year’s amount, and its stock hit the stratosphere, more than doubling in value as investors anticipated the coming Age of the Smartphone. And R.I.M. has already introduced catchy mainstream gadgetry. The BlackBerry Pearl and Curve, two phones aimed explicitly at the consumer market, have sold well, particularly during the holiday season, and now account for a majority of R.I.M.’s device sales. But there are also signs that R.I.M. faces steeper challenges. At the end of last year, BlackBerry had a 40 percent share of the United States smartphone market, down from 45 percent at the end of 2006, thanks largely to the 17.4 percent share the iPhone grabbed in its first six months.
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