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Whether it’s a BlackBerry, iPhone or Android-based smartphone, more workers
will be checking e-mail on their smartphones in the years to come, according to
a new report from IDC, which predicts the
number of subscribers to mobile e-mail will grow at a compound annual growth
rate of 36.5 percent through 2014. More than 250 million users will be checking
business e-mail on their smartphones by 2014.

The growth of smartphones is driving the growth of mobile e-mail, IDC
said, noting that currently 20 percent of all mobile phones are smartphones,
but that smartphone shipments will grow 55.4 percent in 2010. That big growth
will lead to strong business mobile e-mail adoption over the next several

That’s because e-mail is typically the first application enabled on
corporate-liable deployments and on individual-liable smartphones for business
use. 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, according to IDC.

"The growing number of individual-liable devices that organizations are
allowing to access business data is a significant driver of business mobile e-mail,"
said Stephen Drake, program vice president, Mobility and Telecom, at IDC.
"This is often the first and most critical business application for this
user base."

BlackBerry and Microsoft dominated the market in 2009. RIM made $287.8
million in business mobile e-mail revenues and a 57.2 percent market share
based on revenues. IDC said that while many
business users rely on BlackBerry devices for secure business mobile e-mail,
consumers are buying them too, enabling RIM to capitalize on individual-liable
business user opportunities.

Meanwhile, Microsoft grabbed 71.5 percent share of the subscriber market in
2009 and experienced tremendous subscriber growth with its ubiquitous Exchange
Active Sync across key OSes, 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, IDC