iPhones, iPads Preferred to Android by Enterprise Users: Report

Apple devices accounted for six of the top 10 devices activated during the first quarter by enterprise customers of Good Technology, which offers multiplatform device support. The iPhone 4S was the No. 1 pick, by far.

Apple devices hold far greater appeal for enterprise users than Android smartphones or tablets, Good Technology concluded in a new report on the first-quarter activations of its customers.

Good, a provider of multiplatform support for mobile devices, found that of the top 10 devices its customers deployed between January and March 2012, the top six were Apple devices. The Apple iPhone 4S was by far the most popular overall, accounting for 37 percent of activations during the quarter (rising up to even 40 percent in February alone), compared with the quarterly average of approximately 18 percent for the iPad 2, the next-most-frequently-activated device.

In seventh place, the top-activated Android device among Good customers was the Motorola Droid, accounting for just 1.6 percent of activations during the quarter.

Tablets and smartphones combined, Apple had an 80 percent share of activations to Android€™s 20 percent. Looking at smartphones alone, Apple€™s share dipped to 74 percent to Android€™s 26 percent. Tablet activations split things still more sharply in Apple€™s favor, wrote Good, accounting for 97 percent, compared with Android€™s 3 percent.

€œWhile the majority of Good€™s customers support a dual-OS [bring-your-own-device, or BYOD] model, the 30 percent or so of companies that exclusively support a €˜company-owned€™ or €˜corporate-liable€™ device model are standardizing on iOS vs. Android devices in these environments,€ states the report.

The industries most aggressively deploying tablets, Good found, are financial services, accounting for 36 percent of deployments during the quarter; business and professional services, at 17 percent; and health care€”which showed the greatest increase in deployments of any industry since the fourth quarter of 2011€”at 7 percent.

€œApple seems to have cornered the tablet market in 2011 and Q1 2012; however, the arrival of the first Windows 8 tablets later this year should have an effect on tablet-activation numbers,€ the report noted. €œBut for now, the iPad remains the de facto enterprise tablet standard€”especially when it comes to the large company-driven deployments €¦€

While Good released support for Microsoft€™s Windows Phone 7.5 in April, the Nokia Lumia, it said, €œdidn€™t have a chance to make the top 10 list in Q1.€ Going forward, Good plans to include Windows platform activations in similar reports.

In early April, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, with Mobile Fusion, also expanded its offering to include support for mobile devices running iOS and Android. The figures in the Good report suggest RIM customers may well have their bases covered now, but with mobile carriers very interested in supporting a third mobile ecosystem, and Microsoft with Nokia and other manufacturers getting behind the Windows Phone platform, analysts have frowned at RIM€™s decision to leave out support for Windows Phone.

€œFrom a software-integration standpoint, it€™s a mistake for them to delay adding support for Windows Phone to Mobile Fusion,€ Ken Hyers, a senior analyst with Technology Business Research, told eWEEK. €œBy the time they get around to it, enterprises will have had to make a choice for another mobile-device-management system.€

Good noted in its report that it€™s enjoying the spoils of an industry that€™s not only activating devices at a rapid clip but quickly adopting the BYOD trend and support for multiplatform environments.

The number of Good customers deploying iOS or Android devices grew by 50 percent over the last 12 months, it reported, while the average size of customer deployments more than doubled during that period.

€œEven more impressive,€ it added, is that from just the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012, its customers€™ activations grew by 50 percent, €œnearly double the [growth of] the two previous quarters combined.€

Notably, the Apple iPhone 4S€”again, the most-activated device of all€”became available Oct. 14, 2011.