Changewave shows that iPhone has opportunity in the enterprise

Changewave today came out with some very interesting business smartphone data. The first bit of information is that RIM's Blackberry is the dominating platform with nearly three quarters (73%) of the respondents smartphones.

Now the latest ChangeWave numbers are in on the corporate side of the smart phone ledger, and once again the clear momentum winner is RIM.

As part of a February 11-15 corporate survey, ChangeWave asked respondents involved with IT spending decisions who the manufacturer was of the smart phones their company currently provides.

Nearly three-in-four respondents (73%) cited Research In Motion as the manufacturer of their company’s smart phone.

The Blackberry's market dominance is well known.  The survey starts to get more interesting in the customer satisfaction arena...

While Apple (AAPL) still has a relatively small share of the corporate smart phone market (5%), the company’s iPhone continues to grab sky-high satisfaction ratings. Nearly three-in-five (59%) of Apple’s business customers say their company is very satisfied with the iPhone.

RIM ranks second with a very satisfied rating of 47%, though we note this represents an unusually large 8-pt decline from the previous survey.

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The decline of RIM's satisfaction ratings is likely due to its continued outages. Despite the outages, RIM is gaining or holding marketshare. With double digit leads in very satisfied ratings, it would appear that Apple is ready to pounce on the enterprise market. Samsung and Motorola (and partially Palm), representing the Windows Mobile Market, bring up the rear with 10-30% very satisfied.

This information is important now because Apple is getting set to deliver some iPhone enterprise connectivity advancements with its SDK announcement on March 6th.

Even with high satisfaction ratings, the enterprise fight won't be an easy one for Apple. Changewave notes that Apple's marketshare results aren't entirely steady but surprisingly, it is already the number two business smartphone manufacturer in planned purchases. Apple just recently started allowing AT&T business account members to purchase the iPhone through their business portal.

Looking ahead to the 2nd Quarter, RIM (77%) is the dominant leader in planned corporate smart phone buying – having jumped 3-pts since our previous survey in November. Apple (11%) is second, down 3-pts from its previous high.

The other manufacturers are also down vs. market-leading RIM. 

Palm (8%), Motorola (7%) and Samsung (4%) have each experienced a 2-pt decline in terms of planned purchases, with each company registering its lowest level of the past year.

The real question is: Will Apple be able to make a dent in RIM's seemingly insurmountable lead?

Those questions will begin to be answered on March 6th.

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