iPhone leads in customer satisfaction among business customers

Although Apple has declined to make an overt push into the corporate market, a few daring business customers bought iPhones anyway. And they like them.

Three out of five business customers (59 percent) who bought an iPhone said they were "very satisfied" with it, leading all other smart phones, according to a survey on corporate IT spending conducted by Rockville, Md.-based ChangeWave Research.


While Research in Motion ranked second on the customer satisfaction question with 47 percent saying they were "very satisfied" with their BlackBerries, ChangeWave notes this is an 8 percent decline from the previous survey.

The survey, composed of 2,013 business customers, was conducted Feb. 11-15 and released last week.


Of course, the iPhone still lags in market share -- ChangeWave's data shows Apple (5 percent) trailing RIM (73 percent), Palm (18 percent), Motorola (9 percent) and Nokia (7 percent).

The picture is a bit brighter for the iPhone on the planned purchases front. Of the survey sample 11 percent said they would buy iPhones, second only to RIM's 77 percent. However, that's a 3 percent drop for Apple from the November survey, not the direction it wants to go.

At the same time, RIM picked up 3 percent, demonstrating the BlackBerry's powerful grip on the corporate smart phone market.

Apple's not-so-secret weapon is that customer satisfaction rating. It should gradually help win over more corporate customers, even without Apple marketing the iPhone as a business product.

And despite its dominance of the market, RIM's service outage two weeks ago (as well as one last April), could inspire disgruntled business customers to take a look at the iPhone as an alternative.

It's conceivable the iPhone could crack double-digit share in the corporate smart phone market at some point -- no trivial achievement for a product targeted primarily at consumers.