/ Source: Reuters
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry is the market leader with just over half the U.S. market in the fourth quarter, according to technology and telecommuniction strategy group IDC.
Alternative options include the following:
- Palm Inc., which sells the popular wireless Treo device that has a miniature computer keyboard and can also handle e-mails. Palm uses its own software in these devices, but in January started selling . It trailed RIM in the fourth quarter with over a quarter of the U.S. market for smart phones, a term used to refer to handsets with computer-like functions like e-mailing.
- Microsoft Corp. sells a version of its operating system for high-end cell phones. It also to give corporate clients running Microsoft e-mail systems free server software upgrades if they want to push e-mails automatically to mobile devices running the latest Microsoft system. As a result, Microsoft, which has a much smaller share of the U.S. mobile software market compared with RIM or Palm, could be poised for strong growth, according to analysts. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)
- Nokia, the world’s biggest cell phone maker, also sells mobile phones suitable for e-mail using the Symbian software system. It recently bought Intellisync, a RIM rival focused on wireless messaging software. Nokia’s share of the fourth-quarter U.S. smart phone market exceeded 4 percent.
- Korea’s Samsung Electronics, the No. 3 cell phone maker, had a slightly smaller share of the U.S. smart phone market than Nokia in the same period with devices based on Microsoft software.
- Hewlett-Packard Co., which also sells smart phones with Microsoft software had a more than 3 percent share.
- Motorola Inc., the world’s No. 2 mobile phone maker, has developed a slim phone called the Q which analysts see as a potential alternative to the BlackBerry. The Q, which uses Microsoft software, is expected to go on sale soon. Motorola’s share of the market was over 3 percent in the quarter but behind HP.
- Smaller wireless e-mail software providers that could stand to benefit from a RIM U.S. shutdown include private companies such as Good Technology, Visto Corp. and Seven. A ruling against RIM could also help Sybase Inc., which bought Extended Systems, according analysts have said.