An attempt by Nokia to talk down Android, a rapidly-strengthening alternative to its Symbian platform, may have backfired.
When we spoke to the Finnish handset manufacturer's head of business smartphones, Ilari Nurmi, on Tuesday he said there was no way any analyst would recommend Android for enterprise use — an area where Nokia is keen to pitch itself as being in a two-way tussle with RIM's BlackBerry platform.
"You can go and talk to any enterprise IT analyst and none of them recommend Android for enterprise use today and that probably says it all," Nurmi said. "The capabilities, security and all of those areas that we have built into Symbian smartphones are clearly on a different level."
Naturally, we promptly went to one of the most prominent analyst houses, Gartner, and asked smartphone research vice-president Carolina Milanesi what she thought of Nurmi's assertion. "[Android] 2.2 now has 'appliance' level for enterprise as [the] security is now good enough," she replied via email.
To be fair to Nurmi, he did also concede that it was "very clear that Android devices will land into enterprise use", but he did also cite, er, Gartner as being a source of his idea that Android is "clearly not ready for the enterprise market". Whoops.
Gartner has three classifications in its smartphone enterprise-readiness scale. 'Concierge' level is at the bottom, denoting devices that require a vast amount of maintenance if they are to be used in an enterprise setting. 'Appliance' level sits in the middle, referring to handsets that have decent security and remote device management capabilities, and that enterprises can support. 'Platform' level is at the top, and suggests a smartphone environment that Gartner recommends for in-house app development.
Android got bumped up to 'appliance' when it moved to version 2.2, or 'Froyo' in May. This version improved the security aspects of Android, letting Exchange administrators enforce password policies across a smartphone estate and remotely wipe lost or stolen handsets.