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Telecommunications analysis company IDC forecasts Apple iPhones and Google Android-based phones will each account for 17% of total smartphone shipments into New Zealand by the end of the year, according to Stuff.co.nz.

IDC expects the traditional corporate smartphone tool – the BlackBerry – to come in at 12% of shipments in the same period.

ComScore’s latest figures from the United States smartphone market show Android up 6.6 percentage points to 19.6% market share, while BlackBerry slipped 4.1 points to 37.6% share.

The trend has resulted in a growing range of smartphone devices and operating systems entering the New Zealand market, which is increasing the pressure on companies to find ways for staff to use their preferred device for both work and pleasure.

IDC consultant Peter Macaulay was quoted saying people are becoming religious about their preference of mobile device and the applications that run on it.

Accommodating that preference is becoming a priority for companies who want to keep their staff happy without compromising information security or running up huge bills providing services for a swag of different handsets, he said.

Macaulay said historically devices used for business were given to staff. The trend now is for staff to bring their device in and technical people are now expected to connect that device up.

The capability is called Bring-Your-Own [BYO] in Australia, where companies such as Woolworths and the Commonwealth Bank are reportedly planning a move to BYO from their traditional BlackBerry-only policies.

The trend is young in New Zealand, but inevitable according to Macaulay.

The report also quoted Macaulay saying the onus of running corporate IT services is increasingly falling on third-party providers and smartphone ”mobility” would be no different.

BlackBerry is renowned as an ”all-in-one solution” encompassing such security priorities as remote wiping of information stored on lost or stolen handsets.

However such applications have been developed by third parties for the iPhone and the open-source Google Android platform, the report added.

Vodafone communications director Paul Brislen was quoted saying that financial and banking sector companies were more likely to stick with BlackBerry longer because of the device’s security advantages.

Engineering firm Beca recently changed to a BYO policy made possible by a cloud-server system under license from Californian company Good Technology, which operates in more than 90 countries.

Chief executive of Mobile Mentor Denis O’Shea was quoted saying there was ”hype, discussion and a bit of fear, uncertainty and doubt” around the direction corporate smartphone policies were heading.

While BlackBerry’s dominance is under threat companies are still unsure as to how to structure iPhone or Android policies, given they’re used to a single solution service from BlackBerry’s owner Research In Motion, O’Shea added.

Aside from security aspects which can be reproduced by third party applications, O’Shea said the BlackBerry’s tactile keyboard – rather than a touchscreen – was also in its favour.

”We’ll see some rebalancing where BlackBerry will lose a little bit of market power, Android will take a lot, Nokia will retain their position and iPhone will continue to carve out a very profitable niche, and Windows Mobile will continue to struggle,” he said. — Source: Stuff.co.nz

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