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iPhone pushes past BlackBerry to top enterprise phone ranks

A study of 2,300 enterprise workers notes that Apple's iPhone has surpassed RIM's BlackBerry as the top pick among business users, with more than twice share of Android models in business.

The report by iPass previously listed BlackBerry slightly ahead of the iPhone one year ago, with RIM holding 34.5 percent compared to Apple's 32.1 percent share. This year however, the iPhone has surged to 45 percent of enterprise users' top pick.

RIM retracted to 32.2 percent, and while Android nearly doubled its rank from 11.3 percent to 21.3 percent, it still remained at less than half the representation of Apple, despite being available from more carriers and a wide variety of handset makers.

Other mobile platforms, including Nokia's Symbian, Microsoft's Windows Mobile/Phone and all others combined, all dropped significantly among business users.

iPass president Evan Kaplan stated, "While increasing iPhone usage in the workplace was inevitable, this is the tipping point when the iPhone has overcome the BlackBerry on its traditional enterprise turf, and business smartphones are in the hands of nearly every knowledge worker."

When asked about future purchases, 18 percent said they planned to buy an iPhone, while 11.2 percent were eying Android, 3.6 percent a Windows Phone model, and just 2.3 percent saying they wanted a BlackBerry, indicating that RIM's share will likely continue to drop.

The survey found that 95 percent of business users now have smartphones, up from 85 percent a year ago, and 91 percent said they used smartphones for work.

This year, 42 percent of the group said they use their personal phone for work, underscoring the "bring your own device" shift that has opened the enterprise up to Apple's products. That number is up from 34 percent last year.

Tablet ownership, which appears to be synonymous with "iPad ownership," has grown to 44 percent of mobile employees, the report noted, up from 33 percent six months ago.

The survey involved employees at 1,100 businesses around the world, about half of whom were from North America. Europe represented 32 percent of the respondents, while 12 percent were from the Asia Pacific region.