updated 07:11 pm EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Apple tablet accounts for 92 percent of business tablet activations and rising
The latest quarterly study by business-oriented mobile services company Good Technology continues its general conclusions over the past four years -- that iPhone and iPad dominate the enterprise and business mobile tech arena. In the latest report, the iPhone is down slightly but still holds a majority share, while the iPad continues to grow as Android tablets continue to fade from businesses. More importantly, custom app development continues to center around iOS devices.
Tablet use among the 5,000 client companies polled by Good Technology has exploded, with tablets recording "twice the number of enterprise app activations versus smartphones this quarter," the company said. The iPad rose one percentage point to account for 92 percent of tablets using Good's enterprise services, and combined with the iPhone's 51 percent share gave iOS as a platform a 72 percent stake among Good's customer base.
Good Technology provides device management and security services as well as push messaging on enterprise-controlled devices, and supports multiple platforms -- leaving the company in a good position to gauge the state of play among firms not tied to BlackBerry's enterprise systems. For Android, Good reported that among smartphones the Google platform was up one percent to 26 percent, but Android tablet use actually declined slightly and is now down to just eight percent of tablet use. Overall, Android held 27 percent of total activations, with Windows Phone making up the remaining one percent.
Good sees tablets becoming differentiated from smartphones, and increasing used as a platform for customized apps -- taking functionality away from conventional notebook and desktop PCs. Custom app activations, it reported, grew 77 percent in just the most recent quarter, on top of 55 percent growth in Q4 2013 -- suggesting that the trend is increasingly in favor of custom app building and deploying being standardized on iOS.
While mobile security continues to be a prime concern to IT departments, the issues are not deterring enterprises and workers from increasingly relying on mobile devices to do the jobs notebooks and desktops used to do. "[IT departments] are prioritizing providing VPN-less access to enterprise data, while maintaining the highest level of security around that data, through secure browsing apps," Good reports.
"Other app categories that saw notable growth -- of over 100 percent quarter-over-quarter -- include mobile printing, notes and mobile unified communications," the company said, adding that the stats are "highlighting the growing trend of organizations moving beyond tasks like document editing and management and supplementing their mobile app strategies with more advanced, sophisticated apps."
Good's findings in the enterprise again back up real-world usage studies that show that iOS devices, particularly the iPad, engage end-users in far higher percentages than reports of Android "shipments" would suggest, hinting at a disconnect between sales to retailers and sales to end-users. In North America, iOS accounts for around 65 percent of all mobile browsing -- and when isolated to just tablets, the iPad accounts for around 87 percent of tablet web usage.