For many years BlackBerry was the gold standard of smartphones in the enterprise sector, but as the iPhone has become more common among regular consumers, businesses have slowly adopted iOS devices as well. This shift has been coming for years, but a new set of numbers shows just how far Apple has come in making a move into the enterprise.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer repeatedly talked about the company's growth in the enterprise sector during a Monday earnings call. A recent IDC report placed iPhones and iPads in the majority of businesses and while this is a major success for the tech giant, the executives also let everyone know that there is a lot more to come.
The growth that Apple has undergone in the enterprise sector seems to be tied to BlackBerry's downfall, which has ramped up during the past two years. A failed attempt to reboot the BlackBerry brand left the enterprise slot open for the taking, and for business professionals the iPad and iPhone have been obvious picks.
After the original iPad was launched, Apple's former CEO Steve Jobs famously said that the company did not have to market the tablet to businesses because "it’s being grabbed out of our hands, anyways." A lack of marketing has not prevented the adoption of iOS devices in the workplace however, and according to IDC, the iPhone and iPad control 59 percent and 79 percent of the enterprise market, respectively.
Now that BlackBerry has been pushed into the periphery, Apple has only had to focus on its main competitor to iOS, Google's Android. While it may have avoided marketing to businesses, Apple has been able to enter the workplace as a result of bring-your-own-device policies and the trickle-down effect perpetuated by employers.
We asked Bob O'Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research, for his opinion on why businesses have been so eager to adopt iOS devices. O'Donnell said that the use of iOS devices by executives and the perceived security of Apple products are the main reasons iPhones and iPads are now common in the enterprise.
"Many upper-level executives have bought Apple products, brought them into work and asked their IT departments to support them," said O'Donnell. "This has then trickled down into the main core of employees as well. Second, Apple's products are seen as being more secure than Android and that's critical for the enterprise."
As important as mobile devices may be in the enterprise sector, desktop computers are still crucial to any big business. For Apple, the business computer market has been a more difficult one to crack. In October, NewsFactor reported that a host of issues with OS X Mavericks had caused many users to become frustrated. Between installation issues, crashes, and "little payoff in terms of new features," it seems as though Macs will continue to have a hard time in the enterprise sector even though iOS devices are doing quite well.