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Apple iPhone passes BlackBerry in business use, survey finds

Report by iPass also confirms Bring Your Own Device trend in workplaces

Apple's iPhone has unseated the Research in Motion BlackBerry as the top smartphone used by mobile employees, according to an iPass survey of more than 2,300 workers around the world.

The survey by the provider of enterprise mobility services found that the iPhone holds 45% of the smartphone market, compared to 32.2% for BlackBerry, 21.3% for Android-based devices, 7.4% for Symbian/Nokia and 5.5% for Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS.

The survey was conducted between Sept. 27 to Oct. 26.

About half the respondents were from North America, iPass said.

BlackBerry's decline in its traditional enterprise stronghold has also been seen in other surveys.

In 2010, iPass said BlackBerry was tops among mobile workers with a 34.5% share of the market, barely ahead of iPhone's 31.1% share.

BlackBerry "has not really fallen from the top spot in so much as other other smartphones have grown faster," iPass noted.

The survey found that the iPhone led 2012 purchasing plans with 18% of respondents plannning to buy the Apple device. About 11.2% plan to buy an Android device in 2012, 3.6% a Microsoft Windows Mobile-based smartphone and 2.3% a BlackBerry, iPass said.

The consumerization, or Bring Your Own Device trend in workplaces, where personally-owned smartphones are used for work, was noted in the survey as well.

A majority of enterprises (63%) offer employees some choice in smartphone selection, and 42% of workers pay for smartphones used for work tasks. IPass saw a correlation between the growth of smartphone use by workers and the number of devices they are allowed to choose from.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

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