Can Apple continue to rule the mobile enterprise?

Moderated by Lawrence Dignan | June 10, 2013 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: Zack Whittaker predicts more success ahead. Steve Ranger sees the tide turning.

Zack Whittaker

Zack Whittaker

Yes

or

No

Steve Ranger

Steve Ranger

Best Argument: No

20%
80%

Audience Favored: No (80%)

Closing Statements

Apple rules -- for now

Zack Whittaker

This debate's question is simple, and its answer is, too. Apple can continue to rule the mobile enterprise. The question is: For how long? Apple's biggest weakness is its own falling sales. If Samsung can exploit that gap and begin taking the market with its niche range of enterprise-ready devices, such as the Galaxy S3 and S4, it could seriously ding any hope of Apple making a comeback.

CIOs would be happier with one device for all to keep costs down, but employees seek diversity and change. And with a massive uptake in Android by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users and prosumers, it's dipping in slowly into Apple's enterprise share. For now, Apple will hold its place — likely for the next year. Once Google fixes its Android fragmentation problem, that's when Apple really has to worry.

See also:

Apple's domination threatened

Steve Ranger

It's fashion and the rise of bring your own device that made the iPad and iPhone enterprise standards. When they were new, there was nothing that could match either of them for style or functionality: Apple caught the rest of the tech industry napping.

But now Apple's competitors have woken up, and caught up: both Samsung and Microsoft (with Nokia) are rapidly assembling ecosystems that will threaten Apple's domination.

At the same time the iPhone excitement, even with iOS 7, is beginning to wear off (although who knows what the autumn will bring). If iPhone fatigue becomes an issue with consumers, the same will happen with business users. And because Apple has done relatively little to woo the IT department or the CIO, its enterprise relationships don't have the same depth as a rival such as Microsoft.

Much will depend on how the next set of flagship handsets from Apple, Samsung and Nokia are received by consumers. But could it be that the same force – consumer sentiment - that made Apple an inadvertent, accidental, enterprise superstar is the same force that will see it eclipsed?

Enterprise inertia can bite back

Lawrence Dignan

The topic of Apple's continued domination in the enterprise is often a tricky one. Why? Time frame. Apple ran away with enterprise share partially because rivals failed to step up. Now Samsung, BlackBerry and Microsoft's partners are all gunning for Apple. As much as I hate to go with the crowd, Steve had a better argument compared to Zack, who seems to think Apple can stand pat and enjoy inertia in the enterprise. Over time, enterprise inertia can bite back --- ask BlackBerry. In addition, iOS 7 will give Apple's enterprise fans an excuse to look at other options.

Talkback

83 comments
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  • Can't handle IE10?

    According to your graphic, the vote is 100% "Yes".

    This fails the reduction ad absurdum test since I just voted "No".

    Could this be another example of the folks who pontificate about the future of technology not being able to handle the technology we have today?
    keith.manning@...
    Reply 1 Vote I'm for No
    • reductio ad absurdum

      @Keith.Manning:

      Can't tell from here whether that was simply a typo, but just for future reference, the Latin phrase is reductio ad absurdum. See, for instance, any dictionary at http://onelook.com/?w=reductio+ad+absurdum&ls=a

      Regarding the debate here, I merely know that I don't have enough information to make an informed opinion. I do expect the next 12 months will be interesting, though. Just hope they're not interesting as in the purportedly Chinese imprecation: May you live in interesting times.

      -- Tim
      Timothy J. McGowan
      TimothyMcGowan
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
      • This is the kind of pedanty up with which I will not put

        Seriously, thanks for pointing out the error (which, by the way, I cannot fix since editing is not enabled). It was not a manual typo. Rather an over zealous auto complete.

        If one types "reductio" in the comment box in IE10 it adds the "n". Strangely, this does not happen in Chrome. So, I am not sure if IE or the page code thinks I need to buy a consonant.
        keith.manning@...
        Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided
  • If the argument is that BYOD give's apple the edge....

    Then Apple's hold won't last. Better and better management suites are being developed that are multi platform compatible.
    mikedees
    Reply 1 Vote I'm for No
    • Apple's form factor

      Who came up with the idea of giving the Apple's tablets that unnatural, horrible curvature around the edges. Hopefuly one day they will get rid of that.
      kandella
      Reply 1 Vote I'm Undecided
      • nothing wrong with curves, even Apple's.

        Curves are neither stupid or smart, though some work and look better than others.
        Bee Ryan
        Reply Vote I'm Undecided
  • Phones vs. Tablets

    When it comes to phones, Apple will hold on longer--but its tablet days are going to end. I'm already seeing it in my enterprise, where users are starting to approach my department and ask to trade in their iPads for Surface Pros because they "want to get real work done" (that was the actual phrase used by one of my users). I'm also seeing more Surface Pros at meetings I attend.

    And this is just the first generation of Surface Pro tablet. It's a great device, but it's a bit heavy and battery life isn't outstanding. Assuming these two weaknesses are overcome in the next generation, the argument for using an iPad is going to be pretty weak.

    Apple has said all along that their target market was consumers, not enterprises. Enterprises were willing to jump through hoops for the iPad up until now, but with a viable alternative--one that's enterprise-ready out of the box--they're not going to keep doing it.
    ParrotHead_FL
    Reply 4 Votes I'm for No
    • pple's tablets form

      I just hope that the next generation of Apples would get rid of that stupid curvature around the edges
      kandella
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
    • Exactly

      because the iPad cannot do any work at all. It has no integration... It has no nothing. It cannot even store files... It has no format support or HDMI ports, it requires adapters and other stuff to do anything.... Its just useless in general...
      Jimster480
      Reply 5 Votes I'm Undecided
      • Yeah, no work at all

        (except the work that it is doing already, and well, and all the work it is projected to do, with pilot programs in the majority of top 500 corporations.)
        Seriously, do you even listen you yourself? You have no idea what you're talking about. Case pinpoint, your idiotic list:
        "cannot even store files"
        Yes it can.
        "It has no format support"
        What does that even mean? Are you trying got ploy I can't open .doc and .jpg files, etc.on an iPad? 'Cause you'd be wrong.
        HDMI? Really? First, how many businesses need HDMI to do "work"? Second, it does not need HDMI ports to output to HDMI if needed. See next.
        "it requires adapters and other stuff to do anything"
        Um, so? Your point is?
        .DeusExMachina.
        Reply 2 Votes I'm Undecided