Apple's iOS operating system is outpacing the competition and remains by far the top choice for business users in both smartphones and tablets, a new survey reports.
The survey by Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Good Technology, which provides mobile solutions for businesses and government agencies, found that Apple outpaced Google's Android , the leading OS in the U.S. market, by an 80 percent-20 percent margin in activations among Good's enterprise customers in the first quarter.
A Galaxy Apart
iPhones made up 73.9 percent of smartphone activations, compared with 26.1 percent for phones powered by Android. The tablet figures are more striking, a 97.3 percent blowout versus 2.7 percent for Android tablets. Android tablets include Samsung's Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom and the Asus Transformer.
The release of Apple's third iPad did not have a substantial impact on the results because it came in March. And the iPad was most popular in the Financial Services, Business/Professional Services and Life Sciences industries, with the latter category showing a disproportionately higher share of iPad activations.
Apple devices made up the top six of the 10 most popular mobile devices in activations recorded by Good Technology. They are, in descending order: The iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPhone 4, new iPad, iPad, iPhone 3GS, Motorola Droid, Samsung Galaxy S II, Google Nexus and Sprint Evo 4G .
"Apple seems to have cornered the tablet market in 2011 and Q1 2012," the report said. "However, the arrival of the first Windows 8 tablets later this year should have an effect on tablet activation numbers. But for now, the iPad remains the de facto enterprise tablet standard."
Microsoft 's next Windows operating system, Windows 8, is expected in October and will power PCs, laptops and tablets. Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a conference call with reporters, stood by Apple's model of separate operating systems for tablets and computers, saying integration is like converging a toaster and a refrigerator, according to published reports.
Integration Is Popular
"Ease of business integration is one of the essential Windows 8 value propositions that Microsoft and OEM/ODM vendors seem to be banking on," analyst Charles King of Pund-IT told us. "Many, if not most of the Windows tablet go-to-market scenarios I've seen focus on opportunities in business markets, and rightly so since accessibility of full-features Microsoft applications appears to be careening down consumers' wish lists."
King said the activation rate reflects that it has become increasingly simpler for companies to integrate iPads with corporate networks. But that doesn't mean there isn't an opening for Microsoft.
"Apple's unpolished, tardy response to Flashback malware infections has presented competitors a great opportunity to pitch Windows-based alternatives as inherently more secure than Apple devices and their vendors as proactively better prepared to address security threats," King said. "You can't depend on your competitors making dumb mistakes but when they do, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of them."