In IBM and Apple's wake, has Android lost its enterprise chance?

Moderated by Larry Dignan | July 21, 2014 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: The IBM and Apple deal shook up the enterprise space last week. Where does it leave Android?

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Yes

or

No

David Gewirtz

David Gewirtz

Best Argument: Yes

43%
57%

Audience Favored: No (57%)

The moderator has delivered a final verdict.

Opening Statements

It's a massive setback for Android

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes: While Apple's partnership with IBM will unquestionably benefit both firms and give iPhones and iPads a greater foothold in enterprise, there are also losers, and one of the biggest losers from this is Android.

While it's easy to think that the platform and devices war is won and lost based on what consumers buy, enterprise adoption still matters a great deal because this puts devices on the back foot. in the hands of people who then go on to use them to make money. Not only does this raise the profile of iOS devices, but it will also drives more sales.

It's a win-win situation for the two firms.

On the flipside, the IBM/Apple partnership is a huge loss for Google, and a massive setback for Android, primarily because it simultaneously endorses Apple's previously weak enterprise endeavors, puts IBM's might behind pushing iOS to its customers, and puts Android on the back foot.

Android is the Borg

David Gewirtz: The short answer to this debate question is simply: No, of course not. IBM is far from the only enterprise player and the iDevices have inherent limitations that Android doesn't suffer from.

Let's take the limitations argument first. iOS devices are limited in how much they can be customized. Android is not. iOS customization stops at the app, and even the apps themselves are surprisingly limited. Android customization can extend to the launcher, the OS, add-on devices, and deep into the system.

Plus, of course, IBM isn't the only enterprise game in town. Beyond Dell, HP, and Microsoft, not to mention Google Apps (which are penetrating enterprises at breakneck speed), there are a wide range of other enterprise players.

This is a nice sales synergy for Apple and IBM. Nothing more. Android is the Borg. It will keep assimilating and certainly Apple and IBM can't stop it.

Talkback

100 comments
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  • It's one "Partnership", not the end of the world

    However Android still has work to do if they want to made serious inroads.
    Boothy_p
    Reply 51 Votes I'm for No
    • not the end of the world

      + a whole lot, Boothy. :)

      Seriously, most services and data end users need are MS based. (And believe me, I have no love for MS but it is the reality of the standard IT shop.) If you are gonna capture the enterprise then you have to make it work with the business users, not some obscure IBM app for monitoring VIOS LPARS. So far, neither Apple nor Android have really addressed that need. Fortunately MS screwed up their solution so badly it is still anyone's game. I just don't expect IBM will make a difference in iOS adoption since it doesn't address the real needs of the industry.
      revspaminator
      Reply 51 Votes I'm Undecided
      • Apple has already made it "work with the business users"

        As early as summer 2012 all the senior executives of the financial services software company I was at were carrying iPads, and this is a company whose products all used several Windows Server products. We didn't support Macs in anyway, yet the leadership of our company were confirmed iPad and iPhone users. With Office on iOS, I'm sure most of them don't even carry notebook computers anymore.
        matthew_maurice
        Reply 34 Votes I'm Undecided
        • Executives carrying iOS and not a laptop

          Those would be some pretty unproductive Executives!
          Mogwaidtd
          Reply 30 Votes I'm Undecided
          • Unproductive Executives?

            Is there any other kind?
            AudeKhatru
            Reply 33 Votes I'm Undecided
          • Exactly!

            Anything apple makes is like a status symbol/hipster accessory/lifestyle toy. So of course the execs are in on it. But take away their Outlook email, and you'll hear about it! With so much in the business world needing the horsepower of a laptop computer, these toys are anything BUT productive.

            But yeah, I agree...execs are an unproductive lot to begin with. ;)
            -WMG-
            Reply Vote I'm Undecided
        • So they carry iPads

          Okay. Big deal. They still need laptops to execute tasks, sign documents, access restricted files......

          What does IBM bring that would enhance this and migrate use beyond top execs?
          iPads don't run a business. They execute reports, allow reading of email and calendar, and...? Except for some niche items what does this pairing bring?

          More likely TC and a few IBM friends are kicking back and toasting old friendships....
          rhonin
          Reply 33 Votes I'm Undecided
          • @rhonin: iPads can do all those things.

            I don't think you know the first thing of what an iPad can actually accomplish.
            Bruizer
            Reply 24 Votes I'm Undecided
          • iPad cannot use a calculator simultaneously over a website page

            The iPad cannot use a calculator simultaneously over top of a website page. For instance, if you're looking at hardwood flooring on a webpage, you cannot be working a calculator over it. You can with the Note Pro, Surface, or Tab S.
            higgsbosun1
            Reply 1 Vote I'm Undecided
        • iPads Are Great For eMail.

          If there is an industry specific app that everyone must be able to use, it runs on Windows, not iPad. Also, I may have missed the memo, but last I checked neither Android nor iOS can join a company domain natively. Again, the only company with any hope of support for the dominant corporate it infrastructure has screwed the pooch so badly with mobile that they can't even sell to IT departments. That is why everyone who has real work to do carries a laptop that most likely runs Win7. For end users IBM's offerings are too obscure to make any platform seem serious...unless they plan to offer a Windows simulation app so Apple can fill the gap.
          revspaminator
          Reply 30 Votes I'm Undecided