How Apple’s iOS Became the Darling OS for Mobile Enterprise

| Analysis

Apple has created a new webpage full of resources for IT and enterprise developers. Videos drawn from various sources including WWDC plus PDF documents provide a wealth of technical information for developers, but also provide evidence of the scope of Apple's initiatives and success with iOS in the enterprise.

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This Apple webpage, "Reinvent your enterprise with iOS" has not received wide public attention because it's fairly new and of primary interest to developers. However, anyone can access this page and learn quite a bit about the notion that iOS has quietly but with great success become the enterprise mobile OS of choice.

Image credit: Apple

Perspective

iOS has been a great success in the enterprise for several reasons. First, Apple got on the mobility bandwagon early and aggressively with iOS. The company understood the fundamental needs of those using a smartphone and, later, the iPad, on the go in the business world. It's paying off.

Secondly, Apple understood the severe requirement for great security in mobile devices. While that security aspect is often regarded casually by consumers who are inclined to go with other brands of smartphones, businesses have a much more hard-nosed, quantitative approach to securing corporate data in a mobile environment. Parochial fandom has been set aside.

When Tim Cook talks about the extreme penetration of iOS in the Fortune 500 companies during earnings reports, he isn't just fluffing the analysts. It's virtually Cook Code for the idea that iOS has been warmly embraced in the enterprise thanks to the robustness and elegance of its security architecture. For more details on that see Steve Gibson rave about iOS security in his "Security Now" series, episodes #446 to #448.

Finally, IOS has the numbers that the Mac never had. While Apple struggled in the enterprise with a few percent worldwide and traditionally less than 10 percent in the U.S. for years, iOS has done much better. Over 800 million iOS devices have been sold (including 200+ millon iPads, 500+ million iPhones). What that means is, regardless of the market share against Android in the consumer market, corporations are buying iPhones in groups of thousands for their employees in recognition of both their excellence in mobility and the leverage to be gained by in-house written iOS apps with, as mentioned above, excellent corporate security.

Microsoft Missed the Boat

To put all this in perspective, when the iPhone was announced, Steve Ballmer dismissed its prospects for business because it didn't have a physical keyboard like the Blackberry. Later, when Apple announced the iPad, Microsoft killed its own prospective competitor, the Courier, and then proceeded to stall for 30 months until the introduction of the first Surface tablet with the mantra of Windows everywhere. Except Windows was never designed to be a mobile OS.

The very company that should have been on the mobility bandwagon for business abrogated that position to Apple, and Apple's success in the enterprise with iOS has, amazingly, made iOS, not OS X, the darling OS of the mobile enterprise world.

Apple is showing no signs of letting up now that it has seized and maintained the initiative, as the webpage above demonstrates. In the Post-PC era, there are many more gains to be made.

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