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4/24/2011
10:53 PM
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iPhone Fends Off Android In Enterprise

Android may be the leading smartphone platform, but Apple's iOS is still clinging to a lead in the enterprise, according to Good Technology.

The battle for share in the consumer space has been decided for now. Android sits atop the smartphone heap, pushing iOS into the number two slot. That doesn't hold true though in the enterprise according to Good Technology.

Good Technology is a provider of tools for IT departments that allows them better manage smartphones and other mobile devices. They are focusing on the key platforms in the smartphone world, Android from Google and iOS from Apple. They don't manage RIM's BlackBerry nor Microsoft's Windows Mobile or Windows Phone platforms given that those platforms already have great hooks into existing server infrastructure.

In recent years, IT departments have been under increasing pressure to support phones from employees, and it really can be a win-win situation. Employees get to use the devices they crave rather than what the IT department is handing out, which tends to be a Blackberry. One only has to look at RIM's decline in the consumer market to know that buyers have a waning interest in the Blackberry platform.

If the employee brings in the device though it cuts down on the company's IT budget and employees are more likely to have the phone with them voluntarily. I know firsthand that when employees are required to use only a BlackBerry for corporate emails, they tend to be left behind after hours in hotel rooms or at home, but personal phones are never left behind.

Good has seen an increase in Android activations, but with the launch of the Verizon iPhone and the $49 AT&T iPhone 3GS, iOS has been able to hold Android at bay, at least for now.

Don't expect for this to hold true though indefinitely. Android will ultimately surpass iOS and likely even Blackberry if RIM doesn't get its act together. ABI Research released a report back in November on what the enterprise market would look like in 2015. It still lists Symbian as a player, but in 2015, the only evidence of Symbian will be in old blog posts. While the report projects RIM will retain the top spot, Android will be close behind, very close behind.

I won't put a lot of stock in a report that is trying to predict something as volatile as the smartphone market four years out, but it isn't hard to imagine that more IT departments will embrace user devices, as long as there are basic security policies implemented, and the enterprise market will more closely resemble what is going on in the consumer market.

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