We’ve all been witnesses to the fuss that has been surrounding the mobile industry since 2007, when the original iPhone was launched. This phenomenon has clearly seeped to the enterprise as a part of a broader trend the industry often refers to as the consumerisation of IT. And naturally, the people at Apple (alongside Google and a number of other competitors) have set their eyes on replacing those outdated company-issued BlackBerries.
One of the key drivers here is that a lot of companies are beginning to embark on bring-your-own-device or BYOD strategies. The iPhone is a natural fit in these plans, considering a sizable number of any given company’s employees probably already own one for recreational purposes and are familiar with the device.
A prime example of such a company is IBM, which will be allowing 200,000 of its employees to use their own iPhones at work in 2012. (Not so coincidently, the official announcement came shortly before the firm launched the Hosted Mobile Device Security Management service, designed to help its customers achieve the same.)
It’s evident that consumer devices have managed to gain a foothold in the enterprise, which can also be said of Apple’s aggressive plans in this space based on the tremendous efforts they’ve put into marketing. This brand appeal is working quite well by the looks of it, and there are numbers to back that up.
A study by Google Technology for the third quarter of 2011 surveyed several of the firm’s Fortune 500 customers, and found that iPhone activations in the enterprise accounted for 61 percent of the quarterly total. The paper excluded RIM devices, though with a positive forecast backed by the iPhone 4S, it seems as if Apple is still putting up a strong fight against Android. Total iOS activations were at 70 percent during Q3, representing an 8 percent drop from the previous quarter.
The handset is a standard tool for every employee, and the only variable is the brand. The iPhone is a key element in Apple’s position in the enterprise market, though we can certainly extend the discussion beyond that.
Back in Q2, Good reported in a paper entitled “iPads Drive iOS Dominance in the Enterprise” that claimed the iPad accounted for an impressive 95 percent of tablet activations. Tablets are gaining traction at a very rapid rate, and Android Honeycomb still has a lot of room for growth.
We can conclude that the growth the iPhone and iPad have been seeing in the workspace is impressive when looking at the numbers alone. That doesn’t mean that competition is scarce by any means, but it does give Apple a very good starting point in what can be considered as a rapidly-growing march.
We can also go further and scratch the surface a bit. A recent Forrester report revealed a 22 percent increase in employee-owned Mac use, despite the fact 41 percent of the companies for which the respondents worked don’t allow Macs on their networks. This is a big boost considering the significantly lower growth rates the Apple computer has seen in previous years, and one could credit it to the iPhone and iPad which paved the way. The closed ecosystem Apple has been so rigidly maintaining also has a hand in this.
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