Android and iPhone make steady enterprise gains
Motorola, like others, stays loyal to Windows for business space
Published: 22 June, 2010
Although Motorola has pinned its colors firmly to the Android mast, it has never actually dumped Windows Mobile, at least for its enterprise range. Even insider indicators that the firm would take a rain check on Windows for unimpressive WinMo 6.5, and then evaluate Windows Phone 7, proved premature when the vendor unveiled a rugged 6.5 model, the ES400 for business users, last week.
Many vendors have kept Windows Mobile on their books, mainly for the enterprise, though only HTC and LG, among the majors, give it star billing. Microsoft is hoping that will change with the debut of WP7, of course, but will also be looking over its shoulder at Android and iPhone, both making progress in the business sector where Windows still reigns.
According to a new report from the Enterprise Mobility Foundation (EMF), Android 's corporate progress is slow at this stage, and the Google phones are mainly finding their way into enterprises via employees adopting them for personal use - a similar pattern to the iPhone, which has only recently achieved credibility among corporate IT managers.
The EMF, using data from Strategy Analytics, found that the main reason individuals are purchasing Android devices is to mobilize their personal, rather than business, activities. Android remains tiny in the enterprise field, with 10% of US firms supporting it officially, compared to a massive 72% for BlackBerry and 29% for iPhone. And 70% of respondents said they did not expect their employers to support Android devices in the next year, though most said their use was not banned either.
The iPhone has worked hard to improve enterprise critical features such as security and email integration, and Android will race to catch up. The new iPhone 4 is likely to increase the phone's adoption by business users, according to a survey commissioned by Sybase from Zogby International. This found that 56% of iPhone users believe new features in the fourth iteration - notably multitasking, sorting emails by subject and remote wipe - are likely to make their employers more supportive of the handset for business purposes. And about 35% of non-iPhone owners in the US - where their handsets are not provided by their employers - would consider one for work now.
The Zogby poll came to support Sybase's latest extension of its Afaria enterprise mobility management suite, which will now support the iPhone and iPad. Afaria delivers enterprise applications and corporate policies over the air and also supports Symbian, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile.