updated 06:30 pm EST, Sat January 21, 2012
HTC to use IBM business apps on Android devices
HTC and IBM together said in an interview Friday that they were working together to get Android into the workplace. IBM's business apps were running on HTC's phones and tablets, HTC's Global Enterprise and Services director David Jaeger told eWeek. On its side, HTC was making sure both that the devices took full advantage of the IBM apps and that they "focused extensively" on security.
The effort is a new and mostly unpublicized one. Motorola has also been trying to cater to corporate customers with Android, albeit with limited success.
Android has historically been at a disadvantage in business use. While RIM's BlackBerry is still considered a gold standard due to encryption and push e-mail systems, Apple has made major strides and is now a frequent pick in enterprise because of its efforts in supporting Exchange, encryption, and remote controls for IT administrators. Android continues to lag behind and usually relies on third-party layers like 3LM and Good Technology to make up the difference.
The Taiwan smartphone builder is starting from a difficult position. Although still second only to Samsung in the Android field, its profit tanked by 25 percent in the fall as Apple's iPhone 4S and Samsung's Galaxy line cut into sales that many thought would inevitably keep growing through Android's success. HTC is behind in tablets even relative to other Android supporters, having just the modest Flyer and its expensive, $750 Jetstream. A wager that people would want a stylus has, like Windows tablets before, failed to pan out so far.