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iPhone replaces Blackberry as top smartphone among mobile workers

November 21, 2011|By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times

The iPhone is the top smartphone among "mobile" workers, coming in ahead of the struggling BlackBerry, according to a quarterly report.

The iPass Global Mobile Workforce Report defines a mobile employee as any worker who uses a mobile device — including laptops, smartphones, cellphones and tablets — to access networks for work purposes.

Apple Inc.'s iPhone now holds 45% of the smartphone market share among mobile workers, up from 31% a year earlier, the report said. Last year BlackBerry — which used to be the overwhelming favorite among professionals — held the No. 1 spot with 35% of the market.

"BlackBerry has not really fallen from the top spot in so much as other smartphones have grown faster," the report said. "The day of the BlackBerry-only shop is becoming a thing of the past."

BlackBerry's market share declined slightly, to 32%.

The study also found that the median age of a mobile employee is now 41, five years younger than a year earlier. Ninety-five percent of mobile workers now have smartphones, up from 85%, and of those, 91% use their smartphones for work, compared with 69% a year earlier.

The so-called consumerization of information technology continues, with fewer companies providing smartphones for their employees but allowing workers to bring in their own devices, which are then configured for work use. Fifty-eight percent of companies provide smartphones to their employees, down from nearly two-thirds a year ago, the iPass study said.

Tablets have become popular among mobile employees, with 44% owning one. That's up from 33% in the second quarter of this year.

The iPass report was based on 2,300 responses from mobile workers at more than 1,100 businesses worldwide. Respondents were surveyed on their productivity, efficiency, work habits and how the mobile work lifestyle was affecting their health.

Nearly 6 in 10 mobile employees gave an "emotional response" when asked how they would feel if they had to go without smartphones for a week. Among those, 40% said they would feel disoriented, 34% would feel distraught and 10% would feel lonely.

Although new technology is seen as a productivity booster, "a serious device dependency has developed," the report said. "The majority of today's mobile employees would be lost and anxious without these tools, and they are constantly seeking new and better devices (e.g., tablets) to make their jobs easier."

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