Study: iOS dominates Android four to one in the enterprise

Mobile management vendor Good finds Apple is crushing Android on tablet front, holding slim lead in smartphones

Tablets and smartphones continue to make headway in the enterprise as companies have surrendered to -- if not embraced -- the BYOD (bring your own device) movement. It turns out that enterprise users prefer mobile devices running Apple over Android by a margin of around four to one.

Such are the findings of a quarterly report on mobile-device activation from Good Technology, a provider of mobile management and security tools for enterprise organizations representing an array of industries, from health care to financial institutions. The company found that iOS devices -- iPhones and iPads -- accounted for over 79.9 percent of all mobile-device activations from January through March this year. Android devices represented the remaining 20 percent. According to Good, this is a notable shift from Q1 of last year when the split was 70/30 percent.

Notably, Good's picture isn't entirely complete; neither Microsoft nor RIM is represented, a point the company acknowledged. Redmond's absent from the list because the company just started to support Windows Phone 7.5 this month. Good does not have any insight into RIM device activation.

Nevertheless, Good's findings provide a third-party perspective on how the mobile wars are shaping up between Android and Apple, specifically in the enterprise, not just in terms of which platform is most preferred but also which devices get the most play.

Overall, Apple devices represented around 80 percent of all newly activated mobile devices for the first quarter and crushed the limited competition on the tablet front: iPads collectively represented roughly 97.3 percent of all tablet activations, whereas Android tablets came in at 2.7 percent. The picture could change as more organizations roll out better Android-based tablets, as well as systems running Microsoft's mobile platform. "With Windows 8, we expect more competition for Apple and the iPad in the enterprise tablet space, especially for proactive, company-owned device deployments," said John Herrema, Good Technology's SVP of corporate strategy.

On the smartphone side, Apple's overall advantage wasn't as pronounced: iOS smartphones represented 55 percent of activations over the quarter, compared to Android's 45 percent. The picture will no doubt change once Good starts monitoring Windows Phone activitations.

Broken down by device, the most activated device for Q1 was the iPhone 4S at 37 percent. Second in line: the iPad 2, which represented 17.7 percent of new activations. Number three was the iPhone 4 with average activation rate of 15.2 percent, followed by the iPad 3 with an activation rate of 4.3 percent among all mobile-device activations that Good monitored for the entire quarter, thought it was released just one month ago. The device had an activation rate of 12.1 percent among all devices in March alone.

In fifth and sixth place were the iPad and the iPhone 3GS, which have slowly fallen in favor among mobile workers compared to previous quarters, according to Good -- at least in terms of new activations. Given that new versions of both devices have come out this quarter, the dip isn't too surprising.

Android devices filled out the remainder of the top 10: the Motorola Droid with 1.6 percent of activations, the Samsung Galaxy S II at 1.1 percent, the Google Nexus at 0.9 percent, and the Sprint EVO 4G at 0.8 percent. The long tail of Android devices made up the remaining 16.1 percent of device activations for the quarter, according to Good.

Good also shed some light on device activation at enterprises that support dual mobile platforms versus those that support just one. "While the majority of Good's customers support a dual-OS, BYOD model, the 30 percent or so of companies that exclusively support a 'company-owned' or 'corporate liable' device model are standardizing on iOS versus Android devices," according to the report.

Finally, broken down by industry, Good found that financial service companies continued to represent the largest percentage of new device activations, with a total of 40.8 for the quarter. Business and professional services companies took second place with 9.4 percent, while the life sciences industry activated 9.3 percent. Interestingly, life sciences witnessed the highest rate of iPad activations for the quarter, according to Good, likely thanks to the fact that pharmaceutical and biotech companies in particular are increasingly embracing the devices, both for sales and for the lab environment.

This article, "Study: iOS dominates Android four to one in the enterprise," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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