Apple's iPhone has taken over as the top company-purchased smartphone knocking off the longtime leader, BlackBerry. An updated forecast from IDC predicts iPhones and Android phones will replace BlackBerry as the top smartphones used by workers in 2012.
IDC notes businesses are buying iPhones "in droves." Part of the reason for Apple's success in the enterprise market is due to its tight security model and popularity with consumers. IDC predicts Apple will ship 78.6 million iOS-based iPhones to consumers, 37.1 million to workers, and 31.1 million to companies. In 2011, BlackBerry topped the corporate liable smartphone shipments with 22.4 million devices sold to companies.
Android-based devices are also popular. In fact, Android-based smartphones top the list of smartphones purchased directly by workers. However, Android's open-source model has created a fragmented device ecosystem and more gaps in security than many companies are comfortable with.
For 2012, IDC predicts consumer shipments of Android smartphones will reach 351.9 million, employee liable shipments (smartphones bought by employees) will be 87.7 million, and corporate liable (smartphones purchased by businesses) shipments will total 15.1 million.
The news comes as yet another blow to Research in Motion, which is set to launch two new BlackBerry 10 smartphones at the end of January. Although IDC still feels BlackBerry continues to be the gold standard for security, consumer and developer interest in other platforms has hindered BlackBerry's viability for the future.