There is no doubt that, despite being a very young mobile operating system, Android has achieved considerable success, and Android smartphones are directly challenging the iPhone's hegemony. And yet, we've made the point before that Android still hasn't cracked the business market.
Do you work in a large enterprise, where the technology you use is overseen by IT administrators who set rules? If you do, you may have already encountered restrictions on running Android devices and open source applications. Even at large, Silicon Valley-based technology companies, users often cannot choose Android phones as company-issued devices. Now, a new study suggests that even enterprise users who are free to pick their own mobile devices for work use still overwhelmingly favor the iPhone.
Good Technology, which makes mobile security and collaboration tools, is out with its quarterly study on mobile usage patterns, which "provides a breakdown of smartphone and tablet devices activated amongst Good’s enterprise customers, which include eight of the top 10 financial institutions, seven of the top 10 healthcare organizations, half of the Fortune 100, and companies from every major industry."
According to the report, iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads, represented 79.9 percent of mobile device activations in the first quarter of 2012. Android devices acounted for 20 percent of activations, down from 30 percent in the last quarterly study. And, the Good Technology report noted that among workplace mobile users who are part of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement, where the users choose their own devices, iOS devices are still overwhelmingly the most popular.
“BYOD smartphones and tablets combined with proactive, company-owned iPad deployments are driving rapid growth both the size and number of new deployments amongst our customers,” said John Herrema, Good Technology’s SVP of Corporate Strategy, in a statement. “This includes significant growth in the number of Good users who have both a smartphone and a tablet, with the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 as the most frequently occurring combination.”
Some of this, of course, may be due to the fact that working mobile users know that many of their companies will make life difficult for them if they tote Androd devices. As far as business connectivity goes, if you've ever tried VPN access to corporate systems from an Android device, you may have been barred altogether, or run into serious problems.
While Android was 2011's open source story of the year, it has a long road to travel to be accepted as a business platform. And, that isn't just due to security concerns on the part of IT departments. While it's a different story in the consumer market, among working mobile users, Apple seems to have the magic touch.