Enterprises are potentially a major market for mobile device manufacturers; they are all now busy refining their strategies with a view to capturing the corporate market. And while Apple continues to dominate for now, some of the chasing pack are ready to pounce.
Having fought hard and long to win a share of the retail market, mobile device manufacturers now have corporate business in their sights. In its Device Activation Report, Good Technology – a leader in ‘secure enterprise mobility’ – analysed the growth of device activation among its clients worldwide. This trend seems to be mainly pushed by BYOD, which also explains the popularity of some devices and operating systems over others. Since employees now choose the smartphone or tablet they want to work with, there are two ways a device can penetrate the enterprise: bottom-up or top-down. While Apple still positions itself as a consumer-oriented brand, some of its challengers are developing B2B services or features, targeting IT departments and management.
The consumer-centric giant still dominates the corporate world
Apple still dominates the corporate world - the iPhone 5, 4s, 4 and the iPad 1 and 2 are the top 5 most activated devices among surveyed companies. The sales of iPhone 5 also accounted for close to 33% of all company mobile device activations among Good’s customers last November and December. When looking at operating systems, iOS represented 77% of all activated devices, compared to 22.7% for Android and a shy 0.5% for Windows. Despite Apple’s supremacy, some of its competitors still have something up their sleeves. Samsung leads the chasing pack. Blackberry made a tentative gesture a few weeks ago, and this week Amazon announced the launch of a set of applications on its Whispercast for Kindle platform. For the time being, this product is essentially aimed at the education and business worlds – ‘Kindle for School’ and ‘Kindle for Work’, respectively.
Its competitors, among with Samsung, are trying to address IT departments
Samsung certainly appears to be the most serious rival to Apple. The Galaxy Note 2, for example, sold far more quickly than its predecessors - 8 million units in three months – and the Galaxy S III was the 6th most activated devices among companies, right after Apple devices. On the back of the success of Android, the Korean brand – now that it has claimed a considerable slice of the retail sector – is starting to roll out enterprise focused features and services. Among Samsung’s initiatives, “Samsung For Enterprise” aka ‘SAFE’ is “a family of solutions that include the necessary security and feature enhancements suitable for business use,” claims the Korean brand, with some of their recent advertising going very much in this direction. While there is still a wide gap to Apple to close, there are chances that this strategy could rapidly bear fruit.