Apple's iOS leads the enterprise, Android doesn't

apples ios leads the enterprise. android doesnt

Google's Android has managed to steal a few points of share in the enterprise sector, but is unlikely to maintain this once new iPhones and iPads ship and the Apple/IBM alliance truly kicks in.

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Apple hit?

But don't let reality get in the way of the headlines. You see, Good Technology's latest Mobility Index Report landed in the in-box this morning and it reveals:

  • Apple's iOS has dropped 5 percentage points to achieve just 67% of total enterprise device activations in Q2 2014.
  • Android device activations climbed five clicks to achieve 32% of total enterprise device activations in the quarter, even though Google's OS is unsuitable for enterprise use.
  • Windows remains toast, Windows Phone activations stayed flat at 1%.

Apple's slight decline seems attributable to iPad decline -- iPhone activations stayed at 51% while iPads took 16%.

What is important (to Apple) is the growing status of mobile apps among enterprise users. The total number of enterprise app activations climbed 20% quarter over quarter, Good Technology says. That's important because its apps, rather than devices, that make the mobile enterprise work.

Apps and privacy

A recent Forrester report notes:

“In the very near future, technology management professionals must provide access to a host of corporate applications such as CRM, BPM, and HR. This is already evident, as we see more spending shift to software for mobile applications and middleware as well as the necessary management solutions to provision and manage mobile applications. At the end of the day, we may talk about mobile devices, but in reality it’s all about the apps.”

You could also observe that enterprise usage of mobile solutions isn't just confined to the apps, but also to the data. The ability to access this data using mobile devices is important, but it's even more important to access this data securely.

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Just a blip

Android's OS is not built for security. Apple knows this and that's why it has doubled its slice of the enterprise market in the last few years. This is also why in iOS 8 it will introduce a whole host of solutions likely to boost interest among enterprise users in its new devices. Apple is an enterprise firm.

The slight slowdown in iPad activations in the enterprise is easily explained by the need for a refresh in the product -- and the future introduction of TouchID in iPads alongside the enterprise features within iOS 8 will inevitably get enterprise customers purchasing these devices in quantity.

If you look at smartphone buying trends in the current quarter, you see slowness at the high end. This represents the pent up interest as consumers and enterprise customers worldwide wait on Apple's new solutions.

Within that context, I suggest the slight bounce in Android's enterprise presence is of little significance, a statistical anomaly that doesn’t represent a trend -- it's a blip.

Additional report findings include:

  • The total number of enterprise app activations continued to see significant double-digit growth, increasing 20% quarter over quarter
  • The gap seen in previous quarters in the number of tablet app activations versus smartphone activations significantly closed in Q2, coming in at 58% and 42%, respectively
  • Government and public sector recorded an increase of five percentage points in total iPad activations.

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