If you wanted proof that the iPad is not merely a consumer device but a hot business tool, Good Technology revealed today that 28 percent of the new device activations by its mobile management customers -- mainly North American large businesses, with thousands of devices managed -- were for iPads in December 2010. The rest were of iPhones and Android devices, at 40 percent and 32 percent, respectively. Good is also now seeing Android tablets in its data, with the most popular of those -- the Samsung Galaxy Tab -- cracking the top 20 device list for the first time.
Good's survey showed that the adoption of iPads in the workplace is increasingly driven by the businesses themselves, not just by individual users, as they see iPads bringing in ROI for new and existing business workflows, such as field-force use and lightweight laptop replacement. Conversely, enterprises are relegating smartphone choices -- and purchases -- to individuals, as businesses seek to stop the growth of corporate-owned smartphones. Instead, many businesses have realized they can safely manage employee-owned devices while employees pay the price difference and get what appeals to them personally, such as an iPhone with more storage, said John Herrema, executive VP for strategy at Good.
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The iPad's adoption follows "heightened interest and usage in the areas of intranet access generally, and document access and management specifically," Herrema said. "We attribute this to the iPad's increased screen size, which provide a much better user experience for the consumption of intranet content and for viewing and editing documents. The much longer battery life versus typical laptops is also a factor, such as when flying."
Within Good's customer base, the financial services industry was the strongest adopter of the iPad. In September, that industry accounted for 28 percent of new iPad activations among Good's customers, but jumped to 40 percent in December. The legal industry's iPad activation share grew from 9 percent to 15 percent in the same four-month period. Conversely, the health care industry's iPad activation share among Good customers dropped from 40 percent in September to 18 percent in December. Herrema attributed health care's early surge to pent-up interest in bedside care and theorized the subsequent drop simply reflected the fact that the industry simply moved faster than others.
These shares do not reflect overall iPad adoption trends; companies that use mobile management tools such as Good's typically need greater levels of compliance and security than what Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes provide out of the box, thus skewing the customer base to financial, health care, and legal industries. But the data show that among those security-conscious industries, health care made a big push into iPads in September, whereas the financial and legal industries made significant moves in December.