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5/7/2014
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Apple's iPad Still Dominates The Enterprise

iPad sales lost momentum last quarter, but Apple remains the tablet king for businesses, according to a new report.

Microsoft Office For iPad: 7 Questions Answered
Microsoft Office For iPad: 7 Questions Answered
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Apple's iPad sales lost some steam in the most recent quarter, but the device is still the top tablet for businesses, according to a report released Wednesday by mobility management vendor Good Technology. It claims iPads accounted for 92% of enterprise tablet activations from January to March.

Good derived the data by tracking device activations in its customers' organizations. Together, iPads and iPhones represented 72% of mobile device activations during Q1. Android devices, mostly smartphones, comprised most of the rest. Just over half of all activated devices were iPhones, and just over 20% were iPads.

Good reported that Windows Phone handsets accounted for only 1% of activations. Windows slates don't factor into the data because Good's products do not support Windows 8, 8.1, or RT.

[Can a smaller Surface lure users? See Microsoft Surface Mini Likely Debuts May 20.]

Good observed that custom app deployment was up more than 77% quarter-over-quarter. The company also said users tend to install certain apps on tablets, and others on smartphones. Smartphone users activated more apps related to unified communications and document management, while those with slates were more likely to install document-editing apps. Tablets users installed twice as many enterprise apps as smartphone users, and iOS devices accounted for 93% of app activations.

The overall OS figures are almost identical to those Good calculated in its previous report, which described the last three months of 2013. In the latest edition, Android gained a percentage point while iOS lost one. Without knowing the full size of the sample, or Good's share of the mobility management market, it's hard to assign this shift much significance.

Good's customer base includes a sizable sample of more than 5,000 organizations worldwide, including many Fortune 100 companies. That sample is substantial enough to testify to the iPad's continued enterprise appeal, but the data still paints only a partial picture. Though the company's potential sample size is large and varied, Good didn't specify how many organizations or device activations informed the new report. Good also excluded data from customers who activated fewer than five smartphones or tablets. InformationWeek contacted Good for clarification but did not yet receive a reply.

Despite sampling ambiguities, Good's report starkly contrasts the newest stats from research firm IDC, which said last week that iPads accounted for less than a third of tablet shipments in the most recent quarter. Is this evidence that Good's stats don't reflect the actual enterprise market? Not necessarily.

Whereas Good focused only on enterprise users, IDC took stock of the entire tablet industry. Enterprises and consumers don't always follow the same criteria when purchasing tablets. Few average users care how their tablets fit into existing MDM systems or business workflows. As the tablet that popularized the form factor, the iPad enjoys robust support from ISVs and developers, one of many factors that make it appealing to businesses.

Android has grown competitive as an enterprise offering as well, but that's not the reason for the OS's meteoric rise. At least some of Android's market share stems from budget markets in which Apple declines to compete. Cheap Android devices are popular in emerging regions, where users' first computing devices are often low-cost mobile devices instead of traditional PCs. This trend arguably gives Android some traction with the next generation of computer users, but it also means Android's market share is inflated by customers with whom Apple isn't particularly concerned. Enterprise and BYOD users, on the other hand, are more firmly in the iPad's wheelhouse. It's plausible, in other words, that iPads continue to dominate the business tablet market, as Good's report asserts, even while falling behind Android overall.

That said, Apple's enterprise popularity might increase in coming months due to the recent release of Microsoft Office for iPad. The suite was downloaded more than 12 million times during its first week on the market. Microsoft plans to release touch-oriented Office apps for Android tablets and Windows slates' Modern UI, but for now, only iPads boast such a product.

Could the growing movement toward open-source hardware rewrite the rules for computer and networking hardware the way Linux, Apache, and Android have for software? Also in the Open Source Hardware issue of InformationWeek: Mark Hurd explains his "once-in-a-career opportunity" at Oracle.

Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio

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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
5/13/2014 | 9:00:00 AM
Re: Glamor or Practical at core?
Agreed, that tablets are all about consumption. That's our focus right now. They have some value as remote desktop tools for travelers connecting to a Windows machine back at the office, but the primary value we see is for process automation and reduction of paper/printing across our organization. We're just getting started on this road to "paperless" but early indications are promising.
StephanieF610
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StephanieF610,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/10/2014 | 4:01:47 PM
They are all show ball effecting and trampling the "old" internet.
This is a hot market with all upside. My site http://ipad-quicktips.info is dedicated to the many ways to catch this money wave and not get snowed under.
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
5/10/2014 | 1:29:35 AM
Re: Glamor or Practical at core?
for me Android have it value... Ipad or Windows tablet... not my cup of tea... but maybe one day I learn to love Apple :)... 
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/9/2014 | 10:52:55 AM
Re: Glamor or Practical at core?
I think the discussion isn't so much iPad vs Android tablet, but more tablet or no tablet. Tablet sales are leveling off and tablet use is declining in the typical target audiences. People figured out by now that tablets are great for consuming content, but horrible for creating content or anything else that requires active productivity.

And then there is the fact that nobody gets fired for buying iPads, same way as nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft. Considering that an endorsement or user preference is plain wrong.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2014 | 1:19:13 PM
Re: Glamor or Practical at core?
Thanks for feedback. I guess I was wondering about experience once you launch the enterprise app you write. Would the app work any different on iPad than it would on an Android? If not, I was just wondering if the only differentiator is the "Wow, I/they are using an iPad" factor to enhance the customer/biz user to adopt easier.

Sounds like I was right about iPad just having the momentum with developers because in the beginning, that was only choice. Just wondering if some of readers were faced with decision today to implement their first app on tablet, would they go "old school" and start disqualifying the cheaper devices for use case reasons before moving on to more expensive devices like iPad? Or is the paradigm now to say first "what device is most likely to be accepted by my users", then look at technical implementation of app. I mean, Touch is Touch when it comes to using application, isn't it? Or am I wrong, they can actually work better on iPad vs Android? 

Think apps like car dealers completing sale application or cruise lines having iPads for guests to use to book services. I do get your point when comparing more generic applications like Office type app, then you do get drastic difference in function. But would the car sales app work just as well on a cheaper Android device, just not look as cool because it's not iPad?
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2014 | 9:08:06 AM
Re: Glamor or Practical at core?
I use both Android and Apple devices. I prefer my iPad to any Android tablet I've tried. I prefer my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone to any iPhone I've tried recently. Overall, both platforms can perform well in the business environment if you are willing to invest in the apps to make them work. The recent Office for iPad release will tilt the scale, in my opinion. None of the leading office-like apps on either platform truly support all of the functions that MS Office does. The iPad app is very full-featured.

For newbies, the iOS experience is easier to learn than any of the various flavors of Android OS with mfr customizations. The other reason Apple will continue to lead in the enterprise space is because there is momentum involved with being first to market. Companies have been building tools and infrastructure around Apple products. For a time, it remains easier and more seamless to continue with Apple, even at elevated pricing, because that is what the organization knows and is setup to use. That kind of corporate inertia takes a long time to shift.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
5/7/2014 | 1:32:29 PM
Glamor or Practical at core?
Interesting. Is it because the iPad is flashy, hip to the employees/customers who use the app compared to an Android device? Or is there some reason an app works better on iPad versus Android? Or is it because easier to develop for iPad? Or just because iPad came first, attracted the early developers/apps, so momentum stays with that?

Android tablets obviously work and are usually cheaper. Objectively as business developer, I'd have to disqualify the cheaper alternative before going to iPad, unless this decision is being made for non software reasons. Getting a user to USE anything new is a battle, so maybe the sex appeal of iPad is a help. Android is capturing market share but not necessarily winning the sex appeal battle while doing it.
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