RIM holding its own after legal battle

RIM holding its own after legal battle

Life in the BlackBerry maker yet

This year will be a watershed 12 months for wireless email in the enterprise, but the competitive dynamics of the market are shifting quickly, according to analysts.

The latest research from Strategy Analytics reveals that Canadian vendor Research In Motion (RIM) remains the uncontested mobile email leader with its BlackBerry devices and has "grounds for great optimism in 2006".

RIM has an estimated 63 per cent of the corporate wireless email market, and is now legally unencumbered following the settlement of its legal battle with NTP.

However, Microsoft, Nokia and Intellisync are gunning hard for this lucrative market, and have significant marketing clout and strong, although differentiated, channel strategies.

Strategy Analytics expects the combined 15 per cent market share of these companies to double in the next 12 to 18 months.

Furthermore, smaller niche players that have had moderate success to date will feel added pressure to differentiate their offerings in order to maximise their value proposition and increase their chances of being acquired by a larger player, the analyst firm said.

"Enterprise mobile email will approach one quarter of total wireless enterprise expenditures in 2006," said Cliff Raskind, director of the global wireless practice at Strategy Analytics.

"But we still see an accelerated need for consolidation in an adolescent mobile email solution space that will ultimately be ruled by heavyweights such as RIM, Microsoft and Nokia.

"These are companies that possess broad solution scope, global reach and staying power. Even if RIM yields 10 points of market share, it remains in very good stead.

"For niche players, however, retrenchment will be key as the competitive landscape changes.

"Visto must reinforce the value of effective white-labelling, Extended Systems and Sybase must rely on its IT expertise, and Seven must continue to secure prime device real estate to continue its out-of-the-box strategy."