This afternoon, IDC released yet another push on their IT Report abstract Attack of the BlackBerry Clones (the full document is 23 pages in length and costs, get this, $3500!), in which it suggested that despite RIM's tremendous success, the next few years will witness a new group of competitors challenge their market supremacy. Look out for Microsoft, Nokia, and Motorola (by using Google Blog Search, it became apparent that IDC generates buzz every month or so for it's expensive research reports - see another entry with almost precisely the same buzz from 28-Sep-2006).
IT World Canada also alluded to the IDC study but put the RIM success in financial terms. By the beginning of September, RIM's BlackBerry account holders had reached 6.2 million. With 72% of RIM's revenue coming from handhelds, any challenge is sure to merit scrutiny. Still, RIM expects a user base of 7 million by December 2nd of this year.
By the year 2010, handheld users should have risen to approximately 63 million. IDC predicts that Microsoft Windows-powered devices alone will have grabbed 32.3 % of market share by that time.
What once separated the BlackBerry from other devices, push e-mail technology, is now a standard feature available on any Windows Mobile 2005 device. But these devices offer far more computing power than the BlackBerry, offering a convergence of enterprise-class features that make them a compelling alternative.