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Windows Phone tipped to rival BlackBerry by 2016: Ovum

Analyst firm predicts Asia Pacific shipments of Windows Phone OS to reach 1.1 million

The Asia Pacific enterprise smartphone market is set for a shakeup over the next five years, with analyst firm Ovum predicting that Windows Phone handsets will make up 25 per cent of sales by 2016.

In a new report, Enterprise Smartphone Forecast: 2011 -- 2016, the company forecasts that enterprise shipments of Windows Phone smartphones in Asia Pacific will reach 1.1 million in five years time; a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37 per cent compared to shipments of 236,000 during 2011.

However, Ovum principal analyst, Pauline Trotter, said in a statement that BlackBerry will still retain 25 per cent market share of shipments in 2016.

"Enterprise shipments of BlackBerry will grow from 638,000 at the end of this year to 1.1 million at the end of 2016, a CAGR of 121 per cent," she said.

According to Ovum, the number of business users of iPhones will increase due to the continuing consumerisation of IT. Shipments were predicted to reach 455,000 in 2016, a CAGR of 19 per cent, compared to numbers of 189,000 in 2011.

Android smartphones are forecast to achieve a CAGR of 29 per cent while other operating systems, such as Symbian, are predicted to reach 18 per cent CAGR in 2016.

"The majority of companies in Asia Pacific do not provide mobile devices to their employees so the bring your own device [BYOD] policy is already a reality in the region," Trotter said.

"However, rather than aiming at improving end-user satisfaction this is driven primarily by cost constraints."

She added that business smartphone shipments would rise from 2.5 million at the end of 2011 to 4.5 million by 2016, a CAGR of 12 per cent. BlackBerry would remain the overall leader for the forecast period as its device management and security capabilities made it a "favourite" with IT departments, Trotter said. "However, reflecting trends in the consumer smartphone market, Windows Phone and other operating systems will make significant gains. 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," she said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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