Report: Bumpy landing of iOS 7 in the enterprise makes room for Windows Phone growth

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The consumerization of IT has reached a maturation state in key markets forcing smartphone OEMs to incorporate security and advanced enterprise features into mobile device hardware and software.

Recently, ABI Research published a report titled "iOS 7 and Windows Phone 8 for Enterprise," which examines how the iOS 7 software update will impact enterprise adoption of iPhones, and how current and future iterations of Windows Phone can accelerate business adoption of Microsoft’s mobility platform.

"There was a lot of excitement with the release of iOS 7, especially in the enterprise where Apple included features enterprises were longing for," Senior analyst Jason McNicol comments.

"Some of those features, however, were not terribly innovative when compared to the services offered by the EMM/MDM market, while other enhancements have relatively limited functionality. Despite the positive market buzz, iOS7 enterprise features are unlikely to increase its enterprise presence. Plenty of market opportunity remains, especially for a company like Microsoft."

New enterprise features in the iOS 7 release include: advanced VPP control, open-in management, managed applications, single sign-on capability, per app VPN, and enhanced EMM/MDM vendor functionality.

ABI Research has forecast the adoption of iPhone and Windows Phone by region and by vertical. Apple iPhone subscribers will maintain 18% market penetration for the foreseeable future, whereas Microsoft should see market penetration increase to 6% by 2018.

Commenting on the industry vertical data, McNicol notes, "When looking at adoption trends in specific regions, we see areas where Windows Phone stands to gain significantly. For example, Windows Phone consumer adoption has been very strong in Europe. As demonstrated by the Apple and Android platforms, a growing base of consumers is a key driver for expansion into the enterprise."

Practice Director Dan Shey added, "Surprisingly, there are quite a few similarities between Apple and Microsoft allowing for a good comparison of the two platforms. While Apple has a significant lead over Microsoft, Microsoft is learning from Apple. If Microsoft keeps its promises for enterprise features expansion, we expect it to gain market share among mobile business customers."