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2/12/2014
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iPad Dominates Enterprise Tablet Market

Apple is winning the tablet battles that matter, even in the workplace, new research says.

10 Best Tablets Of 2013
10 Best Tablets Of 2013
(Click image for larger view.)

Apple's iPads remain the most-used tablet line, both generally and in the workplace, according to two reports released Wednesday.

The mobility management vendor Good Technology said iPads accounted for 91.45% of its customers' tablet activations in the fourth quarter of 2013. If smartphones are included, Apple's slates represented 19% of all mobile devices deployed during the quarter.

Good said iPhones and iPads represented 73% of device activations in the quarter. More than half of all devices deployed were iPhones, and Apple products were the 10 most popular devices tracked in the report.

[Apple revolutionized smartphones and tablets. Could TVs be next? Read Apple TV Refresh: 9 Wishes.]

Android tablets and smartphones combined represent only 26% of device activations in Good's data set. This indicates not only that enterprise iPad adoption trounced corporate uptake of Android tablets, but that iPads alone accounted for nearly as many device activations as all Android devices of all form factors, smartphones included.

Meanwhile, online ad tracker Chitika reported that between January 20 and February 4, iPads generated more Web traffic than any other devices in its network. Chitika's report states that North American tablet traffic peaks each day around 9:00 PM EST and that iPads account for four times more Web activity than Android devices during this period.

Each report is limited in certain ways. Good drew data only from customers that activated at least five devices over the quarter, meaning the statistics represents an unknown subset of the more than 5,000 organizations using the company's products.

Moreover, while Good services a small number of Windows Phone customers, its products do not yet support Windows 8 or 8.1 tablets. Other indicators suggest Windows slates have failed to make a dent on the overall market, however, so it's unlikely that Good's Windows omission led to a substantial overestimation of iPad share. In fact, Good's data indirectly supports the notion that Windows tablets haven't disrupted the market: It found that mobile device activations grew 34% in 2013, which, given the iOS and Android-heavy nature of the company's data pool, suggests Windows tablets haven't slowed the progress of competing platforms.

Chitika derives data from a large sample of 300 million ad impressions spread across 300,000 websites. But while Good's statistics come from devices in up to 130 countries, Chitika looks only at tablets in the US and Canada. It additionally records data based on Web usage, not individual users.

Like the Good report, Chitika's data offers limited insight into Windows tablets. The company can differentiate ARM-based Windows devices such as the Surface or Surface 2 from other tablets, but it cannot distinguish x86-based slates such as the Surface Pro from Windows desktops. Consequently, only ARM-based Windows devices factor into Chitika's report.

Nevertheless, both reports offer intriguing observations. Chitika found that iPads obliterated ARM-based Windows tablets overall, but it also noted that Surface and Surface 2 users are most active during the workday, suggesting Microsoft has made very modest progress positioning its tablets as productivity-oriented devices.

iPad Activations by Industry (Source: Good Technology Mobility Index Report Q4 2013)
iPad Activations by Industry (Source: Good Technology Mobility Index Report Q4 2013)

Good's data provides some context for overall market share statistics, which generally tend to favor Android. Research firm IDC announced in late January, for example, that iPads accounted for 33.8% of Q4 tablet shipments. That mark was good enough to make Apple the top tablet vendor, with a nearly 80% lead over second-place Samsung, but it might still seem incongruous with Good's account, which describes a near-monopoly for iPads in the enterprise.

IDC's figures don't suggest that Good's results are skewed -- rather, Good's data contextualizes the iPad's actual standing in the market. Apple's defenders frequently point out that iPad users are likely to purchase apps, accessories, and additional iOS and OS X products. Android, in contrast, gains much of its market share via cheap "white box" devices that rarely encourage platform loyalty. The argument is that Android might be gaining market share, but iOS continues to win the battles that really matter -- such as high adoption rates among affluent consumers, popularity in the enterprise, and an ecosystem that effectively encourages both app purchases and device upgrades.

Apple CEO Tim Cook referenced this concept in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. "I look at the mobile phone market as having three kinds of phones: feature phones, smartphones that function as or are used as feature phones, and real smartphones," Cook said. "I care about the market share of the last one. I don't care how many feature phones are sold. The more that are sold I look at as good because those are all potential future customers for real smartphones. The same thing goes for the second category. I'd like to convert as many of those as possible to real smartphones."

While Cook was explicitly talking about the iPhone, Apple has approached the iPad in much the same way. The company has no interest in competing with budget devices for market share -- not as long as it continues to dominate the most lucrative market segments.

Good's numbers also revealed how businesses are using iPads. Tablets have become popular in a variety of industries, including aviation, retail, and manufacturing, but Good found almost 47% of tracked Q4 iPad activations were in financial services. Business and professional services was a distant second (13.8%), followed by manufacturing (9%), governments and the public sector (9%), and healthcare (3.8%).

Good also reported that enterprises have continued to accelerate the deployment of mobile apps. Companies in the data set most commonly ran document-editing and file access tools on their tablets, though Good noted that custom applications and business intelligence products are becoming more popular.

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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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superbeesy
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superbeesy,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/27/2014 | 9:50:53 AM
IPad is standard
Interesting analysis. As a matter of fact, iPad is the standard in enterprises. As a management consultant, I almost never saw an enterprise providing their employees other devices than iPad. I do use an ipad with my collaborators as well; the thing is that the fact that iPad interface isn't as customizable as android's one ease the collaborative and collective use of ipads as work tools. Then, some of the best business apps are exclusive to iPad, such as Beesy, Goodreader or Office. Adding to this the fact that ipad remains more powerful than its competitor and that Apple updated its mobile device management tools for enterprise, I think iPad is in very good position into the enterprise market.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
2/16/2014 | 1:43:20 AM
Re: What about education?
Thanks, Michael. Yes, that makes sense. :) 

-Susan 

 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/13/2014 | 5:34:54 PM
Re: What about education?
Susan, that's a marvelous question. Yes, education is a huge market for Apple, and for iPads in particular. Here's my guess: The education segment's no-show in the chart probably says more about Good's clientele than about the number of iPads used in schools. Good offers an enterprise-focused set of tools. That doesn't make them inappropriate for schools, but I imagine there are other MDM options out there that might be better suited to a school's needs.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
2/13/2014 | 12:05:07 PM
Re: Surprised
Apple was first to market, and part of the iPad's early enterprise momentum is because of its cachet.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/13/2014 | 8:50:42 AM
Surprised
Really surprised that iPads have caught on so much in the business sector, considering Apple's penchant for releasing products the are regularly overpriced for the hardware on offer and tend to be more style focused than anything. 
anon7519435304
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anon7519435304,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/13/2014 | 1:51:18 AM
Re: What does marketshare really mean?
Unisen iPazzPort Cast is a mini engine to turn your Home HD Screen become a All Media Sharing Center with full screen by Smart phone or tablet.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
2/13/2014 | 1:39:36 AM
What?! Re: Office would be useful on the iPad.
Chas, 

"Office would be useful on the iPad."

What a disturbing idea! Why would someone would like their iPad to start crashing on a daily basis?! The iPad doesn't need Office. 

-Susan

 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
2/13/2014 | 1:32:19 AM
What about education?
Michael, 

iPads have consistently been adopted by education for years. The schools in Europe that have adpted tablets for all their students, teachers, and administration have chosen iPads.

Yet, I don't see education included in the chart. Would it be part of the "other" 7.6%?

-Susan 
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
2/12/2014 | 8:31:55 PM
Re: What does marketshare really mean?
Yes. That's true. I mentioned usage as a reason why I don't believe the marketshare numbers we see.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/12/2014 | 7:02:35 PM
Re: What does marketshare really mean?
Internet usage stats may be useful here:

"Out of all tablet internet usage in the US, Apple generates 80.3% followed by Amazon with the Kindle (7.4%) and Samsung (4.2%)."

Regardless of how many tablets are being sold, people are using iPads more than any other tablet.

http://gs.statcounter.com/press/new-statcounter-data-finds-that-tablet-internet-usage-is-less-than-5-percent-globally

 
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