The market for business mobile e-mail continues to expand at a dramatic pace. Although revenues are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% over the 2009-2014 forecast period, a new International Data Corporation (IDC)
report predicts that the number of subscribers worldwide will grow at a CAGR of 36.5% through 2014.
Multiple factors are contributing to this growth, with the rapid adoption of smartphones leading the way. Currently, 20% of all mobile phones are smartphones, and IDC forecasts smartphone shipments
to grow 55.4% in 2010. For corporate-liable deployments and individual-liable business use of smartphones, e-mail is typically the first application enabled and one of the most pervasive. Such device growth affords strong business mobile e-mail adoption over the next several years.
Other factors driving the rapid adoption of mobile e-mail include new players and innovations on the mobile OS front and better service offerings from wireless carriers that include mobile data services.
"The growing number of individual-liable devices that organizations are allowing to access business data is a significant driver of business mobile e-mail," says Stephen Drake, program vice president, Mobility and Telecom. "This is often the first and most critical business application for this user base."
Looking at the market from a vendor perspective, two players dominated the market in 2009. RIM continued its dominance of the business mobile e-mail market with $287.8 million in business mobile e-mail revenues and a commanding 57.2% market share (based on revenues). While many business users rely on BlackBerry devices for secure business mobile e-mail, the growing popularity of these devices among consumers has enabled RIM to capitalize on individual-liable business user opportunities.
Meanwhile, Microsoft, with 71.5% share of the subscriber market in 2009, experienced tremendous subscriber growth with its ubiquitous Exchange Active Sync across key OSs, including iPhone, Symbian, its own Windows Mobile, and webOS. In 2010 and 2011, Microsoft is poised to continue this growth with the explosion of the Android OS and the launch of Windows Phone 7.