Apple's iOS makes enterprise gains, report says

Mobile security and solutions company Good Technology released a report showing iPhones and iPads making significant gains in the enterprise market.

Apple’s mobile products are making big gains in the enterprise.

Good Technology, a mobile security and solutions company, released a report Jan. 26 stating that Apple's iOS devices accounted for 65 percent of all Good Technology's enterprise activations from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010. IPad activations represented 22 percent of that number. Meanwhile, Android operating system devices were around 30 percent for the quarter and all of 2010.

Of all Good Technology’s activations in the final quarter of 2010, approximately 6 percent were in the government/public sector. The government was also responsible for about 6 percent of the company’s iPad activations.

“We analyzed activations by month across our thousands of corporate and government customers to determine the ‘Top 10’ most frequently activated devices and the overall trend for net new activations across all of the mobile OS platforms we support,” the report states.


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The operative phrase in that statement is “mobile OS platforms we support.” Good Technology is a primary competitor to Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry smart phones that are ubiquitous in government and the private sector. RIM sold 14.2 million smart phones in the last quarter of the year and overall has more than 55 million smart phones in use. The company has been making gains with its private-sector sales, which some industry analysts now put at around 80 percent of BlackBerry sales. That would mean approximately 2.8 million enterprise smart phones. RIM has not broken its federal government sales apart from its enterprise sales with any degree of specificity for first-quarter earnings.

Contrast that number to 16 million iPhones and 7 million iPad sales for Apple overall in the first quarter (not just enterprise sales) and it appears that in every sector — government/public, private, enterprise — Apple is taking a larger piece of the pie.

That number could go even higher when iOS devices have official security certification under the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 . The certification process can take two months or longer, according to a source at NIST's Cryptographic Module Validation Program. Currently, Apple has submitted iPhone, iPad and a data card (likely for its desktop and laptop PCs) for testing by the agency. Once the devices pass the laboratory testing, it could take one to two months to have the official FIPS stamp of approval on the devices. Once that happens, though, there will be little keeping the government sector from widely adopting iOS devices.

To help it succeed in the enterprise and federal sector, Apple has been working with integrators to move its product into those markets. Good Technology is an example of that, as are Unisys and Agilex.

Android has little, if any, federal government adoption at this point, and Microsoft fell out of Good Technology’s Top 10 enterprise operating systems. That does not take into account Windows Phone 7, which Good Technology does not yet have a contract to sell. Microsoft has said that it has sold 2 million of the devices since launching them on Nov. 8, 2010. Previous Windows CE (6.1/6.5) devices are falling out of favor at federal organizations as newer models from other companies force the phones into retirement.

Good Technology's report does not show the whole enterprise market, but it does highlight the distinct trends in mobile technology for the enterprise in 2010 and heading into 2011. The company was acquired by Motorola in 2006 and sold to mobile push e-mail company Visto in 2009. Visto renamed itself Good Technology shortly after.

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