Apple's release last week of the new iOS 4.2 version its mobile operating system added some long awaited new bells and whistles for iPad users, but, more importantly for the enterprise, adds some key management tools for IT administrators.
If Apple is to be believed, enterprises are deploying iPads in droves – on its most recent earnings call, the company said more than 65 percent of the Fortune 100 are testing the iPad. And the new mobile management and mobile security features of iOS 4.2 should make the iPad considerably more friendly for IT professionals to support.
Shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. climbed 5 percent Tuesday after a Wall Street analyst praised its forthcoming QNX operating system as a flexible and portable application platform that will span its smartphone lineup sooner than expected.
Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek said his evaluation of the new operating software indicates it offers a good web browsing experience, is more bandwidth-efficient and secure than Apple's iOSS or Google's Android, is easily scalable to both low-end and high-end devices and makes it easy for developers to port Android apps to the new software, which will debut with the release of RIM's Playbook tablet early next year.
Microsoft reportedly sold just 40,000 Windows Phone 7 phones in its opening day on sale Monday, dwarfed by Apple's 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 on its first day and Google's boost that it is activating more than 200,000 Android phones per day.
The report by TheStreet.com citing "a market research source who tracks phone sales" dovetails with new research from the IHL Group that shows relatively little interest among current smartphone users in Windows Phone 7. The IHL study announced this week found that more than 56 percent of current smartphone users are seriously considering an Apple iPhone and 44 percent an Android device for their next smartphone, while only 24 percent are considering a BlackBerry and a paltry 10 percent gave Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 any serious consideration. The study is based on a survey of 570 consumers and 66 retailers, the research firm said.
Unisys confirmed last week that it reached an agreement Apple to help integrate and support its consumer products, including the iPhone and iPad, into enterprise systems for corporate and government customers.
The deal, first reported by Bloomberg News, is the latest example of third parties stepping up to make Apple's popular consumer-focused devices more manageable by the enterprise. Under the agreement, Unisys will offer its government and business customers iPhone/iPad integration services and build applications for Apple's devices tailored to the needs of governmental agencies. Unisys has already created a remote border-monitoring smartphone app for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The total mobile ecosystem will balloon into a $1-trillion market by 2014, according to market researcher Gartner, which advises enterprises to develop a "high-level mobile strategy," rather than committing to any particular device or platform.
Mobile will generate revenue from a wide range of additional voice and data services such as context, advertising, application and service sales, totaling $1 trillion dollars annually by 2014, according to Gartner analysts addressing last week's Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Stamford, Conn.
August data released yesterday from The Nielsen Company, confirms what research firms and observers have been asserting for months: that Android is now the most popular smartphone operating system.
Nielsen reports that Android was the top choice among people who bought a smartphone in the past six months, while Blackberry RIM and Apple iOS are in a statistical dead heat for second place among recent buyers. Among all smartphone owners, Blackberry still clings to its lead with 31 percent of the market, the firm says, though its edge over Apple, with 28 percent, is slipping while Google's Android is gaining rapidly, now with 19 percent of smartphone users.