SAPPHIRE: Apple iPads fending off Android enterprise challenge

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ORLANDO: Google is failing to entice enterprise companies to adopt Android tablets over Apple iPads, according to SAP global vice president of mobile strategy Bill Clark.

Clark made the claim during an interview with V3 at the firm’s 2014 Sapphire trade show. “Yesterday we had our mobile advisory board where we get companies and customers to come in and talk to us about strategy,” he said.

“Interestingly, one thing we haven’t seen which I personally thought would happen was an inversion in market share in the enterprise between Android tablets and iPads. I find fewer people are replacing iPads with Android tablets than I expected.”

Clark said businesses’ use of iPads is largely due to subtle and ongoing work by Apple to make iOS devices enterprise friendly. He listed Apple’s Wordwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2014 announcements as proof of his claim.

“If you think about Apple’s WWDC announcements yesterday, they’ve put the wind back in their sails,” he said.

“This is interesting for the industry because if the market shift [I expected] occurs in the tablet segment and enterprises move over to Android, it’s difficult to reverse.

“Once companies get a lead a kind of inertia occurs in the market that’s difficult to change. Look at BlackBerry as an example. BlackBerry had a stronghold in enterprise for 12 years after it got established.”

Apple announced a number of enterprise-focused upgrades for its iOS operating system at WWDC earlier this week. They included improved data protection and Calendar notification services as well as new productivity tools and Exchange out of office support for iOS.

Despite Apple’s success in the tablet market, Clark said Microsoft Windows Phone is one of the fastest-growing players in enterprise mobility.

“This year is the first time we’re seeing interest in Microsoft from the line of business, not the IT shop. It was also the first time we saw interest coming unsubsidised by Microsoft and there was independent demand for it,” he said.

Clark said the interest in Windows Phone stems mainly from former and existing BlackBerry customers.

“In most cases the interest is coming from BlackBerry. A lot of them were folks who had been BlackBerry shops who were using highly customised apps and just felt the convenience factor of having one device and pushing their smartphone [strategy] towards bring your own device (BYOD) was a good investment. There was some attrition from Apple but not to the same extent,” he said.

“This is a very good sign for Microsoft and shows at the moment it’s a case of shifting sands in the enterprise.”

Microsoft senior director Stella Chernyak said targeting the BYOD market is a key part of the firm’s Windows Phone growth plans during an interview with V3 at the company’s TechEd conference in Houston in March.

For an in-depth look at Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1┬ácheck out V3‘s full review.

4 June 2014 | 9:25 am – Source: v3.co.uk
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