How Apple is Exploiting Android’s Weakness

| Particle Debris

Google's Android OS is Apple's biggest competitor in the mobile world thanks to a major strength, its open and free-wheeling nature. While Google’s Android manager Sundar Pichai recently argued that being open is good for security, the fact is most malware, by far, is directed at Android. This is not desirable in business and government where, not surprisingly, IT Managers want security, control and single responsible vendor behind both the hardware and software.

Apple knows if can offer that, and there are signs that Apple has been moving even more strongly to cash in on its own strengths with iOS and try to turn Android's consumer strength into a business weakness. The Sun Tzu quote here applies.

This week, I found several articles that shed some light on Apple's continued movement into the enterprise with iOS.

First, Ryan Faas, the best author I know of at assessing Apple in the enterprise, starts us off with "Why Apple's latest tweaks to app purchasing give it a big enterprise advantage."

Next, Apple has published "iOS Deployment Technical Reference." dated February 2014. This document guides IT administrators on the deployment of iOS devices in large-scale organizations. These technical documents published by Apple are hard to find and not well publicized, but they're gems for those who know about them.

Next, Jonny Evans takes us on a guided tour of Apple's initiatives in the enterprise. "More than shiny: Apple is an enterprise firm."

Finally, Ryan Faas (again) says Apple isn't quite done and provides his own wish list. "An IT wish list for iOS 7.1." What's revealed by Mr. Faas in that discussion is the breadth and scope of iOS in the enterprise.

Just as Microsoft earned its keep in the enterprise and government, then struggled in the post-PC era consumer world, Apple is turning the tables. After making it big time in the consumer world, Apple is using its acquired power and prestige to wriggle into the enterprise — rather successfully. Astonishing.

All this could be long-term trouble for both Google and, as Mr. Evans pointed out above, Microsoft as well. Goliath hath become David.

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Tech News Debris for the Week of February 24

I couldn't have said it better myself, so I'll just quote from the article's summary: "Nokia X and Amazon's Fire OS are evidence of a strange new world where Android is being used to compete with itself, and with Google." It's an interesting read, and once again punctuates Apple's wisdom in always controlling the whole widget. "Android's fragmentation problem just got a whole lot weirder — and bigger."

Sometimes innovation appears in the form of a startling new product like the iPad. But Apple also has a habit of putting bits and pieces of technology into place, like a jig-saw puzzle, all under the radar of competitors. Each phase is tested and refined. Then, one day, the final piece of the puzzle is dropped into place, and the competition is left flat-footed, scrambling for years to catch up with hurried, rough technology. Here's a nice summary of what Apple is up to with e-commerce and mobile payments. "Apple Is Already Building Its Next Massive Business And No One Seems To Have Noticed."

A few weeks ago, Amazon floated the idea of home delivery with a new breed of drone. Perhaps this was intended to showcase the imagination of the company, even as there may be legal and technical hurdles. However, one has to be careful how that kind of announcement is handled, lest a clever competitor figure out a way to make fun of your, perhaps half-baked, dreams. This Netflix video is so, so clever.

Awhile back I wrote, at The Street, that Barnes & Noble should give up on the Nook tablet and focus on being a great bookstore. There's no way B&N can convince enough people to by a Nook tablet, a tablet that just can't compete with an iPad, to make it worthwhile. Instead B&N should make the greatest book reading and bookstore app(s) ever.

Even so, B&N is going to go ahead with a new tablet. "Not dead yet: Barnes & Noble will release new Nook tablet this year." I believe this will turn out to be a mistake, sapping far too many resources from the company, already strapped for cash. Instead, I suspect there may be something to be gained by Reverse Showrooming.

Imagine, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, what would have happened if he had decided that the way to save Apple would be to build an even better Newton? 

One of the great mysteries of our times is the state of advertising. The problem appears to be that the ad industry, and companies like Google who make their living from ads, haven't yet been able to appeal to customers with terrific, desirable, correctly focused ads. Is it too much bother? Is the technology not in place? Do privacy concerns get in the way? Or just the desire to avoid being creepy? Brian S. Hall addresses the issue that no one wants to talk about. "How Is It Possible That Google Is So Bad At What It Should Be Great At?"

One of the popular and effective techniques in business to make more money is to learn how to pass certain costs on to others, even consumers. One simple example is software manuals. Why print an expensive paper manual and pay to ship it? If the user wants to print the PDF manual, the user has to pay the cost of equipment, paper and ink. Another is the switch from mailed coupons to bar codes in emails. The customer has to print the email.

Now imagine carrying this concept to the ultimate extreme to the tune of billions of dollars. "This Is The Agenda Behind Mark Zuckerberg's Secret Dinner With Terrified Wireless Execs In Barcelona."

This next article will make you a better person, I promise. "Apple Explains Exactly How Secure iMessage Really Is."

Stop. Go back. Read!

Feel better?

With OS X 10.9.2, Mavericks, Apple introduced FaceTime audio. How does it work? Let Jonny Evans explain. "OS X Mavericks 10.9.2: Using FaceTime Audio on a Mac."

Finally, here's an interesting historical tidbit. Normally, when a distinguished physician comes to your company and says he wants to collaborate, you're flattered. Then you may size up the opportunities. But back in 1977, when Steve Jobs was confronted with this scenario, he declined. That's because Mr. Jobs was too busy creating the Apple II as a tool for everyone to be sidetracked by an individual. Here's a great story that offers yet more insight into the mind of Steve Jobs. Enjoy. "Steve Jobs Rejected The First Medical App In 1977".

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Throw the bomb, outnumbered pawn and Sun Tzu quote via Shutterstock.

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Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble) followed by a discussion of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.

Comments

wab95

John:

Some excellent reading here this week. I’m just about to dash off to serious field work, but just a couple of (truly) brief comments.

The piece about Apple and enterprise is spot on. Thoroughly enjoyed Ryan Faas’ and Jonny Evans’ pieces. I had only recently read Apple’s own document reminding IT that all communication from iOS devices are 256-bit hard-ware encrypted, which is set by default and cannot be deactivated. We are consulting with a group now on deploying smartphones and tablets to my field teams (then the clinical teams), and having that debate on the advisability of using Android. The issues around security and platform fragmentation are telling (out here you don’t know what you’re going to get - vendors lie), and severely limit the appeal of Android devices for secure data transmission. This also touches on Steve Ranger’s piece on Android fragmentation. Google are undoubtedly aware that this is a threat to the Android model (forking) and how it contributes to their business model and bottom line. Thankfully for Google, their entire line up is vast enough to absorb that loss without severe compromise to their model (data harvesting) and profitability.

That the option of using Windows 8 on a Nokia device is considered preferable by some in the industry is telling. In any case, we have some hard decisions coming up in choosing between upfront capital costs vs the hidden costs of hardware replacement and potential security breaches. Some of our work is proprietary and will likely militate against the Android on the cheap handset option, unless our risk benefit analysis is truly compelling - and by that I mean we have substantial certainty in our security protocols.

Also concur with the piece on Apple and e-commerce. Sun Tzu’s quote is a nice touch.

Cheers.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

No mention of the SSL cockup that left everyone with an Apple product wildly exposed for a good while. Whatevs.

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