Apple appears to be extending its lead in the enterprise with the tag team of the iPhone and iPad. Meanwhile, some corporate customers are developing custom iOS apps for their employees.
On Apple's third quarter conference call---following blowout earnings---CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted some serious enterprise strength. Here's what he said about the iPhone.
iPhone continues to be adopted as a standard across the enterprise, with 91% of the Fortune 500 deployed or testing the device, up from 88% last quarter. We are also seeing great growth in scale worldwide. Today 57% of Global 500 companies are testing or deploying iPhone, fueled by strong employee demand and opportunities for custom app development.
The key element there is "opportunities for custom app development." If corporations start developing iOS corporate apps, the chances of them suddenly dropping Apple are slim. After all, corporations developed applications for Microsoft's IE 6 and still have them even though the browser is antique and the software giant is begging them to ditch its ancient version of Explorer.
Oppenheimer also cited global strength for corporate iPhone adoption. He cited Axa, Credit Agriole, Nestle and Dow Chemical as companies officially supporting the iPhone.
The pull of the iPhone is also rubbing off on the iPad. This point is also quite relevant to Apple table rivals, which are largely aiming at the enterprise.
On the iPhone front, Oppenheimer said:
Today 86% of the Fortune 500 are deploying or testing iPad within their enterprises, up from 75% last quarter. We are also seeing strong adoption internationally with 47% of Global 500 companies testing or deploying iPad. In the 15 months since iPad has shipped, we have seen iPad used in the enterprise in ways we could have never imagined.
Oppenheimer cited iPad wins at Boston Scientific, Xerox and Salesforce.com. He also cited hospital wins, which illustrates some vertical strength. He added:
General Electric, SAP and Standard Charter have developed internal apps for training, currency tracking and business process management to help make employees even more productive. Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are using the iPad in cockpits to replace paper-based navigational and reference information pilots carry with them on every flight. We continue to be delighted by the diverse and sometimes unexpected use cases we see around iPads.
Again, the key theme here is corporate apps. If enterprises develop on iOS they aren't going to budge for years.