The popularity of Research in Motion’s Blackberry smartphones declined in the fourth quarter of 2010 as enterprise employees chose Apple products as their preferred devices, according to a survey by iPass.

The enterprise mobility company’s survey of 3,500 mobile employees worldwide found that only 8% had chosen Blackberry smartphones as their preferred mobile device in the quarter, down from 33% a year earlier. Apple’s iPhone and iPad were the top mobile devices for 48% of those polled.

“Tablet and smartphone use in the enterprise is being driven by the growth of cloud-based applications, in addition to the availability of these devices being reasonably priced,” said Steven Wastie, senior vice president of marketing and product management at iPass.

Wastie believes the tablet market is also growing at the expense of PC sales after positive uptake among enterprise employees.

“We have entered the post-PC era. In the fourth quarter of 2010, 101 million smartphones were sold versus 92 million PCs,” said the report.

Wastie added that a trinity of Internet-capable devices would ultimately form the new unit of computing for mobile employees.

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