Business smartphone users will begin to use Android handsets more than iPhones by 2016, according to predictions by analyst Ovum.
Android will make significant gains in the business smartphone market over the next five years, and in 2016 will account for 26% of corporate device shipments, predicts Ovum – just 1% less than BlackBerry.
In its latest forecast, the independent telecoms analyst finds that enterprise shipments of Android smartphones will reach 14.2 million in 2016, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21% from the 4.7 million it will reach at the end of this year, four times the rate of BlackBerry and double Apple’s growth predictions.
However, BlackBerry will remain the dominant player, with a narrow 27% market share of new device shipments in 2016. Its CAGR is predicted to be 5.3% between 2011 and 2016, rising from 10.9 million at the end of this year to 14.8 million in 2016.
Apple’s iPhone usage will also increase significantly due to ‘companies bowing to employee pressure’.
Ovum predicts shipments will reach 9.3 million in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 11.2% from the 4.9 million it will reach at the end of 2011.
Ovum principal analyst Pauline Trotter commented: ‘The business smartphone market will see significant growth over the next five years, with shipments rising from 26.8 million at the end of this year to 54 million in 2016, which is a CAGR of 12.4%.
‘The demand is being driven by the need to support business applications on handheld devices as enterprises adopt more flexible working patterns and continue to support employees away from the workplace.’
3LM, a subsidiary of Google-owned Motorola Mobility Holdings, recently unveiled an enterprise server console that aims to ‘give security-conscious IT departments the required Android support and data protection needed to mobilise their business’.
Trotter says moves like this will boost Android’s takeup: ‘Ongoing improvements in manageability of these device platforms and support for more business applications will begin to make these devices much more appealing to enterprise buyers.’
Meanwhile, separate data from comScore has revealed that the share of UK smartphone users of the total mobile population has increased from 29% to 45.6%.
The company has published data on smartphone usage in the EU5 region – made up of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – which it claims clearly shows a strong growth in the use of smartphones, 46% up on last year.
comScore claims that while in August 2010 the share of smartphone users equalled 27.2 %, it increased to 38.9 % in August 2011.