Posted by:Monica Samuel December 4th, 2012

Despite Android outstripping iPhone as the corporate smartphone of choice when employees are the purchasers, iPhone stays strong as the first choice of enterprise IT and CXOs for corporate liable smartphones. Though the strict policies of Apple are undeniably irksome to iPhone consumers, IT teams ask employees to grin and bear it for the sake of corporate security. In any case, apart from the content restrictions, iPhone is an awesome asset.

According to an IDC report on enterprise adoption of smartphones in 2012, enterprises are buying iPhones ‘in droves.’ Obviously, Google’s latest efforts at boosting Android security have not been enough to convert Apple loyalists into Android fans. IDC predicts that by the end of this year, the tables between Android smartphones and iPhone (on a global scale) could look like this:

  • Consumer shipments: Android – 351.9 million, iPhone – 78.6 million (Keep in mind, iPhone 5’s innings have only just begun.)
  • Employee liable corporate phones: Android – 87.7 million, iPhone – 37.1 million
  • Corporate liable corporate phones: Android – 15.1 million, iPhone – 33.1 million
BlackBerry’s falling fame

Another point that stands out here is BlackBerry’s fast slipping position in the corporate sector. Decision makers in corporate are seriously considering other options besides BlackBerry, what with Apple’s continuous success through the past years and Android’s gaining popularity; not to mention the backlash that has come RIM’s way for both its processes and product lineup. Back in 2011, BlackBerry ‘led’ in corporate liable smartphone shipments with 22.4 million.

Even so, IDC still states that BlackBerry continues to be the gold standard for security. Unfortunately, with the drop in developer’s interest and consumers’ lukewarm excitement over new BlackBerry handsets, the immediate future of BlackBerry in the corporate doesn’t look too bright.

iPhone’s rising popularity in corporate

IDC also predicts that iPhone will continue to gain momentum in corporate circles and will be the frontrunner as a corporate liable phone by 2016 with 68.9 million shipments to its credit.

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Apple’s popularity with consumers and a tight security model ‘have made it a win-win for enterprise use,’ IDC said even as Apple’s rigid policies on application deployment and management can prove tedious at times.

On the other hand, Android enjoys high developer interest. Unfortunately, Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.0 hasn’t eliminated issues relevant to device fragmentation, a problem that has hindered Android’s full-swing growth from the start.

Windows Phone – another enterprise option

We have talked about the security features Microsoft has introduced in Windows Phone. Microsoft is clearly positioning its handsets as a corporate option with plenty of enterprise friendly features and functions. However, the usability of Windows 8 hasn’t received 5 star ratings from reviewers yet. Nevertheless, Windows Phone is being perceived as high potential by corporate soothsayers.

With holiday sales just taking off, iPhone sales could continue to go up exponentially. It will be an exciting run to watch. At the same time, Android handsets are giving good competition to the Cupertino giant. As far as corporate goes though, iPhone has the upper hand.

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