Apple’s rapid iOS 9 adoption shows the future of IT

You can't have a connected planet if systems are fragmented

Upside down

Apple is turning the world upside down and seems on course to dominate the future technology industry.

After all, it took the company just two days to persuade over half of iOS device users to install iOS 9. These numbers will get an even bigger boost when millions of us get our hands on the new iPhone 6S editions starting Friday.

Apple marketing chief, Phil Schiller, pointed out: "iOS 9 is also off to an amazing start, on pace to be downloaded by more users than any other software release in Apple's history."

This is an achievement with big bragging rights.

5 years

Tim Bajarin at Tech.pinions thinks Apple will soon dominate both business and consumer markets.

“Within 5-7 years, I suspect Windows will not even be of interest to this younger set, as iOS will be the device operating system that dominates their work and personal lifestyles,” he writes. “…Within 5-10 years Apple could be the one that dominates all aspects of the business and consumer markets.”

This is already happening – just look at the BYOD trend across the enterprise, which is prompting so many businesses to migrate to iOS 9 and Macs.

What prompted that change? The users, the employees, who insisted on using devices at work at least as good as those they used at home.

Apple defines the digital era. Think about mobile payments for example. Carriers, developers, banks and device makers spent years attempting to build successful mobile payments systems. Today we have Apple Pay, the most widely used mobile payment system in the world.

That’s only one example. There are more.

Watch the action

The final hands haven’t been played, but Microsoft is changing itself to become a business that’s viable despite some contraction and Google is seemingly unable to focus on any specific letter of the alphabet other than ‘f’ for fragmentation. Meanwhile, the impact of mobile is clearly evidenced by the fact over 50 percent of YouTube views take place on mobile devices.

It isn’t just about the iOS devices, either. Mac market growth has exceeded PC industry growth for a decade. The migration to Apple’s solutions promises to turn existing industry realities upside down.

“While Windows will still have life while my generation is in charge of the business tools, when millennial numbers grow in the ranks of business users and take over the IT management jobs dominated by my generation today, will Windows even be relevant in business if iOS is the dominant OS for this age group?” asks Bajarin.

Beyond the now

It’s a good question. To my mind the answer is that Apple has managed to build a growing ecosystem in which its customers eagerly upgrade their products (Mac, iPad, iPhone) to the latest available operating systems. This gives Apple the solid foundations it needs on which to realize the promise of the digital transformation by delivering the software infrastructure.

You can already see this, from health to music services, assisted intelligence to its commitment to building an Apple car by 2019 (just in time to profit from government requirements that will put SIMs inside almost every vehicle sold in the US, Europe and the UK).

In the future, it even seems possible for Apple to take its iOS ecosystem and self-developed A-series chips and put them inside industrial equipment, backed up with the enterprise chops of tis new chums at Cisco or IBM. That would be a challenging exploration within the Internet of things in which iOS becomes the glue to bind the connected planet with security and privacy at its heart. It’s the need to grasp opportunities like these that drove Apple to optimize both iOS and OS X this year, slimming both down to support its plans across the next few years.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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