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Windows Phone on the rise, challenging BlackBerry

The Windows Phone is steadily closing the gap on BlackBerry in the enterprise smartphone market in the Asia Pacific region, with forecasts that the phone will capture 25 percent of the market for sales of corporate devices over the next five years.


According to its latest survey of the APAC smartphone market, Ovum predicts the Windows Phone will reach 25 percent of sales in 2016, with shipments of the phone hitting 1.1 million in that year, to match its BlackBerry rival.  This would represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37 percent from the 236,000 shipments expected by the end of this year.

However, Ovum says that BlackBerry will remain the dominant player, with 25 per cent market share of new device shipments in 2016, and enterprise shipments of BlackBerry devices growing from 638,000 at the end of this year, to 1.1 million at the end of 2016. That's a CAGR of 12 per cent.

According to Ovum principal analyst, Pauline Trotter, the business smartphone market in Asia-Pacific will see significant growth over the next five years, with shipments rising from 2.5 million at the end of this year, to 4.5 million in 2016, a CAGR of 12 per cent.

Trotter says 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.

'BlackBerry will remain the overall leader for the forecast period as its strong device management and security capabilities make it a favourite with IT departments. However, reflecting trends in the consumer smartphone market, Windows Phone and other OS devices will make significant gains, Trotter says.

'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.'

Ovum forecasts that the uptake of iPhones by business users will also increase significantly, driven by what it calls the 'consumerisation effect' , and predicting that iPhone shipments will reach 455,000 in 2016, a CAGR of 19 per cent from the 189,000 it will reach at the end of this year.

The firm says that the majority of companies in Asia-Pacific do not provide mobile devices to their employees. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is already a reality in the region, according to Ovum, observing that rather than aiming at improving end-user satisfaction this is driven primarily by cost constraints.

 

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).