These days BlackBerrys and other smartphones seem to be more prevalent than newspapers on the subway. Despite the apparent progress, however, the old metric is still the rallying cry of the mobile email sector: There are approximately 642 million corporate email accounts that have yet to be mobilized, according to Current Analysis. A mere 8 million corporate email accounts, or 1.2 percent of the estimated 650 million accounts have been mobilized, which still leaves a massive market opportunity in the enterprise. Last year saw the emergence of a whole slew of "BlackBerry-killing" wannabes, as the patent lawsuit between NTP and RIM slightly damaged the BlackBerry maker's dominance in the sector. Good Technology, Intellisync and even Microsoft came out in a big way. Reports continue to circulate that mobile email increases the productivity of a company's workforce, so 2007 will continue to see the service push its way into more offices.
The new year will see more competition for RIM as many enterprises look to their old mainstay Microsoft for mobile email and consider Good and Intellisync's solutions more seriously now that Motorola and Nokia have (respectively) acquired those vendors. While some analysts predict Nokia's success in the enterprise mobile email market will continue to eke forward, its less expensive handsets, like the Nokia E-series smartphones should prove attractive to smaller companies. While costs will always prove a barrier for some companies, others will choose their vendor based on device form factors, touch screens or other user interface characteristics. While I believe Microsoft is set to create a sizable footprint in the sector this year, I think RIM will retain its stranglehold over the Crackberry addicts and remain the dominant force for at least another year.