Apple's mobile devices dominate the enterprise

Apple holds two-thirds of mobile device activations in the enterprise, but the company lost five percentage points to Android last quarter, explaining the new IBM/Apple partnership.

Apple in the enterprise

The iPhone and iPad accounts for 67% of enterprise device activations according Good Technology's quarterly Mobile Index Report [PDF].

Good sells mobile management solutions to more than 5,000 customers across 184 countries, including more than half of the Fortune 100, so its statistics should be a fairly good representation of companies across the spectrum.

iOS activations made up 67% of mobile device activations in the April to June period (Figure A), with Android clocking 32% of activations, up 5% from the quarter prior. BlackBerry activations are not included in the data because Good Technology does not work with BlackBerry devices.

Figure A

Figure A

Good Technology's quarterly Mobile Index Report.

Android's dramatic jump, rising 5% while Apple's iOS dropped a similar amount, shows some of the impetus for Apple's recently announced partnership with IBM. The company is seeing strong results with its own (rather limited) enterprise efforts, but to counter the threat from Android devices, it needs a new strategy.

Thus far, the main threat from Android has been on smartphones. Android tablets account for just a small fraction of activations, while Android smartphones account for the bulk of activations from that platform. The iPad accounts for 90% of tablet activations on the quarter, with just 10% going to Android (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

Activations by type of device.

Government and public sector companies saw 5% increases in total iPad activations quarter over quarter.

Other data collected includes the types of apps that are activated on each platform -- for smartphones, secure messaging apps were the most popular, followed by document access and custom corporate applications.

On tablets, document editing, document access, and custom corporate apps were the most popular, in that order. Business intelligence apps are seeing the largest amounts of growth, rising more than 200% in total activations quarter over quarter. CRM is also proving to be very popular.

Though details of Apple's new partnership with IBM are scarce, the companies have announced that IBM will create more than 100 enterprise-specific iOS apps. Additionally, IBM will sell iPhone and iPad devices through its enterprise sales force, which is much more comprehensive than Apple's relatively limited enterprise operations.

The well-sourced new site The Information recently reported that Apple had talks with HP before the IBM deal was announced, in particular around an "Enterprise Siri" product. It is said to have allowed employees to ask Siri, the voice-controlled iPhone and iPad interface, for company information like financial data or product inventory numbers.

It's unknown if Apple is working with IBM on a similar upgrade to Siri, but it would make sense, because Siri can be a powerful tool for quickly accessing information.

Is Android making in-roads at your company, or is Apple still the platform to beat? Let us know in the comments below.


Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.


Sorry but this is an extremely misleading article.

Good Technology focus on providing services to iOS and Android handsets. Those services are pretty much native to MS Exchange and BB Enterprise servers. Hence Good Technology do not provide any apps for Windows Phone or BB. It is therefore not surprising that virtually all of the activations that they see are either Android or Blackberry.

To suggest that a firm with only 5000 global customers, that provides solutions to only 2 platforms, is representative of enterprise as a whole is one hell of a leap of faith. The figures from GT are little more than a PR exercise.

If we were to go to a Volkswagen factory and only see Volkswagen and Skodas  rolling off the production line, would we conclude that no one buys BMWs?


Surprising. The IT department I'm in is unapologetically Apple adverse and bent on Windows-centric solutions from top IT down - even though Apple products are in head offices.  Also, all too often departments here don't seem to take advantage of what's available from a productivity tools (Apps) perspective - the very thing that makes any tablet so valuable.  That's, in part, due to MDM lock down policies imposed for security purposes and IMHO, confusion about whether its even ok to purchase paid productivity Apps for their devices. 

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