RIM Has Been Losing Enterprise Share to Competitors

When new Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) CEO Thorstein Heins coined the term “consumerization of I.T.”, he aptly described the phenomenon of business enterprise gradually coming around to allowing employees to use devices of their choice at work. Ironically, this trend is working in favor of Research In Motion’s rivals – a study by Forrester Research of information workers in the business place found that 27 percent used Android smartphones, 26 percent chose Blackberry, and 24 percent used Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) handsets.

What does this mean for RIM? It’s quite clear that the business enterprises are getting ready to shed the overwhelming mental block that Blackberries were the most secure and efficient devices at the workplaces. The trend of businesses increasingly adopting the iPhone in North America is now taking root in Europe – only this time the beneficiary is Samsung – riding on a growing acceptance of its Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system. Obviously, RIM is now facing a serious challenge to its corporate dominance on both sides of the Atlantic, though it still remains the handset of choice in the emerging economies.

Nick McQuire, research director of enterprise mobility strategies at the International Data Corporation said, “We’ve seen quite a huge growth of Android in the enterprise over the last 18 months. We see it as being neck and neck with Apple to be a top mobile enterprise platform in Europe.”

RIM CEO Heins harps on the possibility of security lapses in its rival handsets – “They are in a pickle. Their pickle is security. When the first big security flaw even happens in one of the large enterprises, you will see this turn around. Wait for the day this happens.”

But these concerns are already being addressed by RIM’s rivals – with Android introducing encryption in its latest OS, and new phones having special security features aimed at business customers. When Apple tweaked its iPhone with features that made it more useful to enterprises, the floodgates opened for its entry into corporate America. RIM now faces additional challenges from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) with the new Windows Phone 7 software.