BlackBerry bumped into third place by Android

BlackBerry bumped into third place by Android
iPhones and Android are the go to mobiles for business

Apple has strengthened its lead as an employees first choice for office smartphone, and the last year has seen a large leap in the number of employees bringing their own device to work.

The latest quarterly Mobile Workforce Report from mobile connectivity provider iPass shows a huge drop in the proportion of smartphones given to employees for work and a rise in employees bringing their own mobile devices to work over the last year. Smartphones provisioned by employers have declined from 58 to 33 per cent, while self-provisioning has risen to 46 per cent; up from 42 per cent last year. And those workers are fiercely loyal to their smartphones with workers ranking the smartphone as more important to their lives than any other device including laptops and tablets.

Evan Kaplan, chief executive officer at iPass explained , "The idea of a universal computing device that supplants other devices has been on the radar for decades. What's interesting is that while the smartphone is ranked only behind the wallet and keys in importance, it's not displacing mobile workers' reliance on tablets or laptops. In fact, our data indicates that smartphone users also use more data on other devices, revealing an interesting phenomenon ― essentially, the more you use the more you use."

iPhone strengthens the lead

As employees have increasingly taken ownership over their own devices for work, the profile of the most popular smartphones in the enterprise has changed. The iPhone has strengthened its lead at the top and now accounts for more than half (53%) of the smartphones in the survey; up from its 45 per cent share in 2011.

The remaining 47% of the market has been hotly contested and Android has raced into second place with more than a third (34%) of the employees surveyed owning an Android device (up from 21 per cent in 2011). BlackBerry has now been relegated to third place with just over a quarter (26%) of mobile workers (down from 32 per cent in 2011).

Despite the billions that Microsoft has invested in revamping and marketing its mobile OS, Windows Phone remains in the last place of the major operating systems, with just five percent of mobile workers currently using it.

More reliance on tablets

When asked about their other mobile devices, 59 per cent of mobile workers said that they expect to rely on tablets more in the coming year, with the iPad remaining the dominant device as the preference for 54 per cent.

The report also found that Wi-Fi is the network of choice for 52 percent of mobile workers, but poor connectivity is impacting their efficiency. One out of every two of mobile workers complained that finding simple access to Wi-Fi networks outside the office is a hindrance to their productivity, whereas in 2011, only 33 per cent of mobile workers described this as a barrier to successful mobile working.