Survey finds good news for Apple, bad for BlackBerry

Bad news for Blackberry: Forty per cent of smartphone users who don't already own an iPhone said they would switch to the Apple handset for their next purchase

Bad news for Blackberry: 40 per cent of smartphone users who don't already own an iPhone said they would switch to the Apple handset for their next purchase, nearly three times the percentage of non-Blackberry users who would switch to a Research in Motion handset.

In an online survey conducted May 19 to June 8, market researcher Crowd Science found that only 14 per cent of non-Blackberry users wanted to switch to that family of devices.

Those numbers spotlight the emerging competition between the two smartphone leaders, with Apple seemingly better-positioned to score impressive gains.

The report was released as RIM as been touting that 80 per cent of its recent new customers came from consumers and small business, rather than its traditional base in large enterprises.

That seems like good news--market expansion--on its face. Looking more deeply, the figure reveals a suggestion of Blackberry saturation at large businesses, leaving only the consumer market as a source of significant growth.

If there really are few enterprise customers that don't already have Blackberry devices and want them, RIM's market position seems largely defensive, with little growth possible in its historically most important market.

But don't sell RIM short: The company last week reported a 33 per cent increase in quarterly profits and said it had added added 3.8 million new subscribers.

Apple, meanwhile, appears to be gaining more ground with business users after the release of the new iPhone 3GS than the company has done with previous models. iPhone users are remarkably loyal, with 80 per cent saying they would buy an Apple handset again, according to Crowd Science.

David Coursey was an early Blackberry user, switching from a SkyTel two-way pager. He tweets as techinciter and can be e-mailed using the form at www.coursey.com/contact.

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David Coursey

PC World (US online)
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