Blackberry is on a downward spiral according to research – apparently, the smartphone provider’s dominance in the enterprise market will be threatened over the next few years by Google’s Android mobile operating system (OS).

At present, Blackberry represents 40 per cent of corporate smartphone shipments. However, analyst firm Ovum has conducted research that shows this being cut to 27 percent with Android taking over 26 percent of corporate devices by 2016.

The iPhone is also expected to increase shipments – the gains predicted to be made by Google and Apple are reflective of trends in the consumer smartphone market, according to Pauline Trotter, principal analyst at Ovum.

“Ongoing improvements in manageability of these device platforms and support for more business applications will begin to make these devices much more appealing to enterprise buyers,” Trotter added.

Blackberry will retain its overall lead initially, as it is an IT department favourite, but as the research predicts – it seems to be only a matter of time before the tide turns.

RIM’s Blackberry outage disaster in October will undoubtedly have made IT departments think about other platforms, outweighing the security threats that Android has suffered from.

The numbers do speak for themselves – shipments of business smartphones are expected to rise from 29 million at the end of the year to 54 million by 2016. Android is predicted to reach 4.7 million at the end of 2011, with Blackberry touching 10.9 million.

Is it possible for RIM to change this prediction and hold Apple and Google at arms length? They have a strong lead, but can they can keep up with the developments of their rivals, and prevent the future becoming a murky one?