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The BlackBerry, once ubiquitous in business, faces deep challenges in that market as more companies allow employees to pick their own smartphones and add third-party security applications.
One of the BlackBerry's main selling points has been Research in Motion's top-tier security and management features, which appeal to IT managers eager to control what workers do with corporate information and protect business systems from cyber attacks.
But with companies such as Good Technology and MobileIron offering applications that could untether IT managers from their BlackBerrys, analysts say that consumer-market pressures could intrude into RIM's mainstay corporate market.
Only two of nine major U.S. companies contacted by Reuters said they exclusively use the BlackBerry, namely Boeing and Exxon Mobil.
The remaining seven, Alcoa, Caterpillar, DuPont, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Microsoft and Verizon Communications support at least one other brand, or phones that run Google's Android or Microsoft Windows.
"I would say their enterprise base has been besieged really, first by Apple, then by Android," John Jackson, a mobile device analyst at CCS Insight, said of RIM. "What's happening in the consumer market is repeating itself in the enterprise market. They've been materially hurt in their core enterprise market."
RIM's share of the U.S. smartphone market stood at 25 per cent in April, down from 35 per cent in October last year, pushing BlackBerry to third place from first place in the market, according to research firm comScore.
Most of RIM's problems, analysts say, can be traced to their delay in rolling out new phones to compete with the iPhone or Android phones sold by Samsung, HTC and Motorola.
Chemical company DuPont, which has 67,000 employees, started to give some workers the option to use the iPhone in the fourth quarter of last year. In a few months, iPhones grew to about a quarter of Dupont's smartphones, according to Eric Smith, a telecommunications manager at the company.
"The technology that people have available in their personal and daily lives, they want to use at work. People had their own iPhones and iPads, and they said, 'Hey, why can't we use these for work?'" said Smith.
Securing personal phones......................................................
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