Microsoft best get Windows Mobile 7 to market, and soon, because its delay may be causing the company to lose traction in the enterprise market. In a note to clients Thursday, UBS Securities analyst Maynard Um noted that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone is making some inroads in the enterprise space and they’re coming at Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) expense.
“We believe Apple is likely gaining some iPhone traction in enterprise with 19 of top 100 Fortune 1000 companies having iPhones deployed,” Um wrote. “However, we do not think this is a displacement of solutions such as BlackBerry but, rather, believe it is likely at the expense of other Microsoft Exchange capable smartphones.”
Um sees great opportunity in this trend, as long as Apple is willing to step up its game a bit. “In order for Apple to gain greater traction in the enterprise market,” he writes, “the company must overcome some issues including providing 24×7 customer support, providing more future product roadmap details (to allow large enterprises to build ahead and prepare), provide alternatives to OS upgrades solely from iTunes desktop application.”
Ironic, isn’t it, to read such a note in light of all the smack Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer once talked about the iPhone. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share,” he said in 2007. “No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.”