Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enterprise fallout

Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enterprise fallout

Summary: Market research from Canalys indicates that Android's gains are at the expense of RIM's BlackBerry, the traditional enterprise mobile bastion.


Market research from Canalys indicates that Android's gains are at the expense of RIM's, the traditional enterprise mobile bastion.

This morning, the UK-based tech industry research firm Canalys published a report which indicates that at the end of 2010, Google's Android OS became the world's leading smartphone platform in terms of overall market share.

According to Canalys, Android jumped from an 8.7 percent overall share to nearly a 33 percent share over the course of one year, knocking Nokia out of the top spot and reducing RIM's share almost 5 percentage points and resulting in over 615 percent growth for the platform overall in CY 2010.

My colleague and Editor-in-Chief, Larry Dignan, highlighted a number of footnotes from that report which are worth evaluating -- the most significant of which is that Canalys maintains that in 2011, Android is unlikely to repeat that performance because Verizon is getting the iPhone, which may offset some of that momentum.

There are a few problems I have with that analysis, because I believe that Canalys may have grossly underestimated the rate of decline of the RIM BlackBerry platform. As I stated in a previous piece regarding similar market data obtained by comScore, much of Android's gain has been at the expense of the BlackBerry.

In 2010, that expense was the BlackBerry's Consumer market base. In 2011, it's going to be the Enterprise.

Also Read: Verizon iPhone, LTE Androids: Dark Clouds Ahead for RIM's BlackBerry?

Indeed, the iPhone is going to be very popular with consumers as it lands on other carriers. And yes, some of that is going to affect Android sales in the consumer space. However, in the Enterprise, that's an entirely different ballgame and one in which Apple is going to find some difficulty assuming dominance in that space.

There is no doubt that in large, medium and small IT environments, executives and employees are asking for iPhones and iPads to be supported in their organizations, particularly as it relates to secure messaging, If Deutche Bank's experience with Good Technology's BES replacement for iPhone (and Android) is of any example.

However, as corporations move to more and more of a "Bring your own" device model, where the employee purchases their own personal phone and hooks it into the corporate intranet and enterprise applications, the iPhone becomes more of a niche player, Android becomes the predominant platform, and the BlackBerry recedes.

Why? A couple of reasons.

First, there is the difference in how applications can be deployed and developed on Android versus the iPhone. The iPhone can run native applications which are distributed on the App Store, or it can run web-based applications. iOS apps can also be distributed via "Ad Hoc" mechanism documented in Apple's iOS Enterprise Deployment Guide, but it's not practical for large-scale enterprise use.

There is certainly a lot of momentum behind web apps for mobile devices in the enterprise, but that does not preclude actual mobile "Apps" being developed. In terms of overall skill sets in the enterprise, corporate developers are skilled at web technologies, Java and C/C++, which is the lingua franca of Android and the Android NDK. Objective-C and writing apps in XCode, not so much.

If one chooses to develop a proprietary, corporate mobile application that isn't web-dependent and uses skill sets that enterprises already have in-house, then the most logical platform to do it on would be Android.

Secondly, although this is not currently in common use today, is the future need to actually partition personal data from corporate data. Today, companies issue corporate BlackBerries to employees, which use their own personal phones separately and carry two devices. In few instances, companies may allow employees to bring their own into the enterprise, but if they do so, they have to submit to BES policy, such as password locks and data encryption.

As we move into the "Bring your own" model employees and enterprises will actually want to logically separate personal data from corporate data, something that BlackBerry and iOS cannot easily do now. Currently, no shipping Android device can do this either, but this is about to change.

With mobile virtualization platforms, such as with VMWare's MVP for Android, an employee can buy a personal smartphone and install an enterprise "Virtual Phone" which contains corporate applications and data. This "Virtual Phone" can be stored on the device in an encrypted, isolated fashion and can be remotely deleted/wiped if necessary by corporate IT. How does this work? Check out VMWare's video, which shows interestingly enough, an Android 2.1 device running an Android 1.6 virtual phone.

The first phones to use VMWare's Mobile Virtualization Platform have not yet shipped, but the technology is going to be showcased at Mobile World Congress 2011 and VMWare has already announced an initial OEM partnership with LG Electronics, which will build devices that are MVP-compatible. This obviously does not preclude future partnerships at the carrier-level or with other OEMs, which are likely forthcoming.

2010 was the year Android took over the consumer smarphone market. Will 2011 be the year it attacks the Enterprise? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

Topics: BlackBerry, Android, Google, Hardware, iPhone, Mobile OS, Mobility, Smartphones


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • Android is way *overestimated* by this researcher; iOS leads

    Android reached 300 000 activations per day only by the middle of December, biggest month of holiday sales. Prior month activations reached 275 000 per day.<br><br>This means that actual 2010Q4 activations were about 25 million, not 33.4 as the research firm states.<br><br>As to overall market thing, there is no sense in any separate "smartphone platform" for business or developers. <b>iOS with sales of 33.5 million devices in 2010Q4 is the biggest winner.</b> (Especially that most of Android sales are impotent in terms of AppMarket capability as well as buyers ability to actually buy software).
    • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout


      Give it a rest. The title of the report says, "World wide smart phone market". It is a common practice in market research to slice reports along product lines.

      Anyway...who cares? Is this like a sport for you? If you like iOS, then continue to buy products that use that OS. If you like objective-c, then code for them.
      • Yeah he should, if he read the number right

        He would actually see that Android devices sold:

        33.2 Million devices as per this and IDC's report during Q4
        16.2 Million iPhones as per this report and Apple!

        these numbers equate to the following:

        Android sold an AVERAGE of 360870 phones per day during the quarter.

        While Apple average 176087 devices per day.

        Thats one huge whooping.

        Now Tablets. Apple sold 7 + million while Samsung sold as many Tablets as Microsoft Windows 7 phones 2 million.

        These last values are "sell in numbers", I m not sure if the report said "sell through numbers for the smartphones".

        Which ever way you cut the mustard. Verizon may have made a HUGE mistake by choosing iPhone over Android and may stand to lose a lot of customers. Bad Timming!
      • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout

        First, there is the distinction in how applications can be deployed and developed on Android versus the iPhone. The iPhone can run native applications which are distributed on the App Store, or it can run internet-based applications <a href="">Varmepumper</a>
    • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout

      @denisrs <br><br>"Android reached 300 000 activations per day only by the middle of December [...] Prior month activations reached 275 000 per day."<br><br>Oh, wow - I see your point. 'Course, at mid-year they were only around 200K, daily. And, to be fair, that was about double the Q1 figure. Thanks for clearing that up.<br><br>"iOS with sales of 33.5 million devices in 2010Q4 is the biggest winner."<br><br>So, you're just going to ignore sales of several million Android tablets? Are you a Chicago School economist? ;)<br><br>It's remarkably entertaining, listening to iPhone lovers as they struggle with the ego-shattering effects of Android's growing dominance. The best part is how their arguments grow more fantastic, with time. It's like a 2-year-old arguing why he <u>needs</u> a pony. Eventually, the kid realizes he's gone through every rational reason at which point his previously calm, thoughtful position devolves into a sweaty, incoherent tantrum.<br><br>I think 2011 is bringing us right to the edge of that. Even the latest Appleholic whine - that iOS "devices" outsell Android - is nearing obsolescence. Do yourselves a favor, iPhone fans: stick with "It's better" or "It's like buying a Porsche" or some other arbitrary, subjective measure. Because, if you argue for iOS to beat Android purely on the basis of objective facts, you're going to lose. Badly. And adult tantrums are so unseemly.
      Justa Notherguy
      • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout

        @Justa Notherguy,

        "Do yourselves a favor, iPhone fans: stick with "It's better" or "It's like buying a Porsche" or some other arbitrary, subjective measure."

      • Which &quot;several million&quot; Android tablets?

        @Justa Notherguy: especially considering that the likes of Galaxy Tabs get activated and it is accounted in activation statistics by Google.<br><br><b>The fact is that iOS has bigger marketshare than Android in 2010Q4</b> -- it only possible to spin with artificially outlining smartphone sales, which mean nothing as standalone measure to both business and developers.

        Just compare about (average) 365 000 activations per day for iOS to (average) 275 000 per day for Android.
      • bmonsterman, I think you're right

        to the Apple faithful, this really is a sport to them. Maybe they sucked at actual sports, who knows?

        denisrs: <font color="blue"><b>We're really happy that you love the iPhone and have taken such a stance against those that use something else! Whether people know it or not, it really is all about who has the biggest market share, and not with buying what you like! </font>

        The sooner people realize that they should start purchasing on market share alone, the better this world will be.
        John Zern
      • Just facts

        @John Zern:<br>1. I do not "love" iPhone, I do not own it and never did (actually, I do not own anything from Apple at all). Also, I do not believe in irrationalities such as "love" or whatever emotions, so I only discuss concrete things, not how "cool" or "uncool" devices/platforms are.<br>2. The whole point of this article is about marketshare shift -- so, of course, I am perfectly fit with my correction of plainly wrong data by a researcher and way inadequate conclusions from it.<br>3. You have ruined the thread with incorrect use of bold font closure tag (or lack of). Now I will correct it for you </b> right here.
      • @denisrs quit comparing Apples to Oranges!

        Apple sold IOS devices that include
        - iPad
        - iPhone
        - iPod

        Thats not the same as smartphones!

        Android has out sold Apple on smartphones by a 2 to 1 margin:

        Android 10Q4 - 33.2 Million - 360870 phones per day
        iPhone 10Q4 - 16.2 Million - 176087 devices per day

        Averages are taken after a while, you get your averages from where. We got them from:

        A - Canalys
        B - IDC
        C - Apple
        D - HTC / Samsung / Motorola / LG

        And all numbers point in the same direction, the authors and not yours.
      • &quot;Estimation&quot; for Google is wrong, read the first post

        @Uralbas: so, at best, it is 25 million sales.

        Also, despite calling it "smartphones" Google counts non-smartphones, soo -- iPod clones, iPad clones such as Galaxy Tab -- because Google officially does not differentiate devices for which Android 2.x is not suited for, so it calls everything "smartphone".

        So we have 33.5 million of iOS and about 25 million
      • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout

        For someone that doesn't own anything from Apple (as you stated), you certainly are an adamant supporter of them. It's kind of strange that someone that seems to have such a strong desire for Apple's success would not own anything from them. Sure you don't own their stock, at least? That would explain a lot.
      • Thank you for the laugh!

        @Justa Notherguy - "It's like a 2-year-old arguing why he needs a pony" - that's funny! I mean, as a metaphor, independent of the topic.
      • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout

        RO: @Justa Notherguy

        Couldn't have said it better myself - After 30 years in the industry before retiring, I am WAY PAST tired of listening to the fallen "fruit" whining about how misunderstood - or misinterpreted, they ALWAYS are - when in fact they have yet to come up with any truly new - revolutionary - technology in the past 20-30 years - they lost the biggest advantage they EVER had when they brought the first true PC to market back in the late 70s - roughly 45-60 days ahead of Ohio Scientific - the company I worked for back then - simply because my boss moved out of HIS garage to a 300,000 ft facility two weeks after Steve moved out of HIS garage two weeks earlier.. !!! If they had ONLY chosen to ignore the greed based model of their proprietary based hardware and software then, or at ANY time thereafter, they would probably rule EVERY tech based offering they have EVER brought to market from that day to the present - but unfortunately, they chose to stick to the same greed based model they have followed from the 70s to the present day...

        If they EVER open their eyes to their need to adopt an open platform business model - then perhaps one day they might be the dominant force they seem to believe themselves to be..??
    • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout

      @denisrs Fool.... they call iPod Nanos iOS devices, when they're not even related as a fixed OS that is non upgradeable firmware. And how in the world can CrApple call iPod sales activations when they are even PHONES? It's all bullshizt moron! Get a life that's separated separated from living off the Steve's tail end waste disposals he calls brain farts! haha....
    • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout

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  • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout

    Corporates can set up their own App store, bypassing Apple, it has been this way since 2008.

    Sideloading on Android brings in security issues, changing the Micro SD is a gaping security hole.

    Exchange support still isn't quite there, Motorola is being sued by Microsoft for not licensing Activesync, how will that tie in with enterprise?
    • RE: Android leads, RIM recedes: Here's the enteprise fallout


      "Ad Hoc" distribution is limited to 100 users. That's not practical for a large enterprise.
      • &quot;Not practical&quot; != &quot;can&acirc;??t get it installed&quot;

        @jperlow I'd be curious to know what percentage of RIM corporate installs are for fewer than 100 devices.
      • It is practical since iOS gets deployed from low-end

        @jperlow: corporate applications are written and compiled just one, get distributed via intranet towards iOS deployment/management servers on departments.