Another nail in BlackBerry's coffin?

Wall Street starts to let iPhones in for employee corporate use.

By Kim Peterson Sep 10, 2010 3:00PM
Credit: (© Manu Fernandez/AP)
Caption: BlackBerry Storm 2 SmartphoneThe BlackBerry smartphone, still ubiquitous on Wall Street, may have to cede some ground there to Apple's (AAPL) iPhone.

For the first time ever, JPMorganChase(JPM) is considering giving employees an alternative to the BlackBerry. The bank may let employees switch to iPhones for corporate use, Bloomberg reported. JPMorgan is also looking at phones powered by Google's(GOOG) Android software.

Other banks, including UBS, are also looking at iPhone usage. And Standard Chartered Bank has already switched from BlackBerry to the iPhone, Bloomberg reported.

One company at a time, Apple's iPhone is encroaching on territory once dominated by Research in Motion (RIMM). The threat is particularly poignant because RIM's BlackBerry was once the de facto device for corporate use. There wasn't any question about it; you had to use the "CrackBerry."

Now, RIM has seen shares drop 22% just in the last month. Over the last six months, shares have plummeted 40%. Analysts have been dumping all over the stock, downgrading ratings to sell and voicing concerns about the iPhone and Android phones. Post continues after video:
The gradual shift to iPhones is important to Apple because the company has traditionally been shut out of big business. Corporate tech departments simply refused to allow Macs in for a variety of reasons, with cost at the top of the list.

But that changed with the iPhone, and it's also changing for Apple's iPad. Apple has worked hard to whip those devices into shape for corporate use, ensuring compatibility with the Microsoft Exchange e-mail server, for example, and beefing up their security.

Apple now says that 80% of the Fortune 100 companies are testing or using the iPhone, Bloomberg reported.

And though RIM has tried to make inroads on the consumer front, presenting snazzier BlackBerries designed to stand out on store shelves, it's still losing market share.
RIM is now down to an 18.2% share of the global smartphone market, Bloomberg reported, down from 19% a year ago. Meanwhile, Apple's share rose to 14.2% from 13%, and Android went from a measly 1.8% to 17.2%.

A recent user survey must be particularly painful for RIM. The majority of BlackBerry users said they want to ditch the brand for their next phone, according to Nielsen. But iPhone users exhibited huge loyalty, with 89% saying they wanted to stay with an iPhone. Android users were almost as enthusiastic, with 71% saying they would stick with the brand.

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