A recent survey has determined that Apple remains dominant in the enterprise tablet market, with over 97% of activations being iPads. Apple's lead over Android has been further bolstered with the launch of the new iPad, which is now considered the de-facto standard for enterprise tablet computing.
Apple's iOS platform was initially shrugged off as mostly for consumer use in the early days of the iPhone. But the dawn of the iPad meant that iOS is no longer a plaything meant just for texting, calling and the occasional app. Apple's share in the tablet market is growing, and the enterprise tablet market is currently dominated by the three iPad models — from first generation, to the iPad 2, to the new iPad, says a report by Good Technology, a mobile device management and wireless email vendor.
Apple vs. Android, but where are the rest?
According to the research, Apple's iPad accounted for 97.3% of enterprise tablet activations in the first quarter of 2012. This has risen from the iPad's Q4 2011 share at 94.7%.
Meanwhile, Android's share has fallen from 5% to just 2.7% during these periods.
The research only accounts for iOS vis-a-vis Android, and does not account for other platforms, though, which include HP's webOS and BlackBerry, among others.
Good says Android devices are not gaining traction among enterprise users. On the other hand, Apple iPads are very popular both as company-bought tablets and bring-your-own devices, in which businesses allow employees to run enterprise software on self-bought computers and mobile devices. Some businesses even reimburse employees for such expenses.
More Enterprise Software
According to Gartner research vice president Leif-Olof Wallin, one reason behind the iPad's popularity among the enterprise crowd is the availability of enterprise software designed or customized for the platform. As such, the iPad's main advantage is price-to-performance, which Android does not have at this point, says Wallin.
Good's study reveals that the iPad is most popular in the financial services sector, followed by business and professional services companies, and then life science industries.
During Q1 2012, the iPad 2 was the most popular tablet among survey participants, and the second most popular device (including smartphones). Meanwhile, despite only being launched this March, the third-generation "new iPad" is fourth most popular device overall. The Apple iPhone 4S is revealed to be the most popular mobile device in the enterprise market. The earlier-generation iPhone 4 is in third place.